Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Things to do with light!

Playing with transparent blocks of different colours allows children to explore the various shades of colour evident on the floor spaces and the wall behind, as the light shines through from the overhead projector. Adding some opaque objects with interesting shapes like trees and people of different size and shape allows the exploration of comparison and depth. A further dimension of a background city or simple coloured background adds another dimension to enjoy.  
So they started building, creating and adding as they excplored the blocks. Comparing the sizes and shapes of the light and shadows that came through as well as the actual buildings against each other. It was interesting to see them discover the different angles and shapes that made a difference to how the shadows looked.

After a while they were showing the other children what they discovered with the blocks. They even began comparing their own shadows to one another, as well as to the objects they were playing with.  

Things to do with Light!

We use our data projector as well as our light table for children to explore light and shadow.

We have an outdoor Gazebo set up inside and we can close off one side and project images from our data projector!

A sheet of mosaic tiles set up with opaque magnets and metallic objects.
We also try and add sensory props like perfume bottles and flowers to the the light table. Noticing the details on the bottles and engaging with the the perfumes, as well as working out which lid fits on its' respective bottle opens up a world of imaginative, sensory and concepts of numeracy in such a beautiful way!

We went to a Patch Theatre Performance for "Lion in the Night:" The theatre performance was a representation of Pamella Allen's book. After the show we re-created the set by using props from the performance. Using the light projector we projected the image of a bird in a cage to revisit some of the things the children remembered from the show.
We also set up playscapes on the light box in this case to represent the sea. We placed different coloured blocks on the light table which resulted in children creating their own pirate ships.

We photocopy children's images onto an overhead transparency to use on the light projector.
 The children add props like blocks or cut out paper they've made to add to their play.

 Providing different textured materials and tiny objects to be discovered  - a miniature Zen garden, some hidden treasures!

Using light to represent objects, a torch as a baby in the home corner (inspired by the Patch Theatre Performance) 

Using letters, numbers and pictures to move around the light and explore.

Adding clear contact for the light to shine through as we paint patterns with our fingers and hands.

Play scapes relating to a story, with different textures to explore.

Noticing attributes of shape, size and colour through light box materials.

More Light Box Pictures to come soon as we experiment, play, and explore light possibilities with the children!


  1. I bet the kids love it. When I was young I can recall making pictures on photographic paper by laying objects on it and exposing it to light. (my dad was a photographer) I dont suppose it is easy to get photographic paper now but I seem to recall it being possible to make simple light sensitive paper some how. Ill have to look it up! :-)

  2. Wow that sounds like a fun exploration! Thanks Matt!