Exploring Light and Colour

Exploring Light and Colour

14 November 2021

Light boxes (or light tables) give children opportunities to learn visually on a lighted surface.  Light boxes can be made very simply by adding some battery-operated string lights (white Christmas lights) to a small clear enclosed container, but commercially manufactured ones are also a great investment as they allow for so many different learning opportunities to occur.

When colourful, translucent and open-ended resources are added to the light box, children can explore colour as well as other concepts, limited only by their own creativity and imagination.  There are so many different resources that can be used in different ways which include:

  • Leaves and greenery used alongside of magnifying sheets or blocks
  • Acrylic pastel stones and gems
  • Translucent building blocks and magnetic tiles
  • Small coloured glass pieces or containers
  • Cellophane sheets and shapes
  • Paper doilies or pre-cut “snowflakes”

Using a lightbox allows children to develop problem solving skills, pattern and colour recognition.  Children also increase sensory perception, language development and visual skills.

If you do not have a light box or the resources to make one, children can also explore light and colour by using a torch to explore dark corners, under a table or in a hidey hut.  They can make shadow puppets and create stories to go with the shadows.  They can use glow sticks to show movement of colour and light while they dance around.  Or simply admire the arc pattern of colours forming a rainbow as sun shines through falling rain.