light play


I’ve always wanted a light table for my classroom – something where the children can experiment with color and view the x-rays I bought my class this year.  I’m always open to new ideas when it comes to math and science and I’ve always thought that a light table would be a great learning tool.  One main reason I don’t have one is because they aren’t cheap are way too expensive!  I know it can’t take that much money to build some of the things these school supply stores try to sell to us!  I mean, come on – over $400 for a light table and over $200 for a tabletop light box?!  You have got to be kidding me!

So I had the idea to make my own portable light box to use in my class.  The only problem:  I have no idea how to go about doing this.  I don’t even know someone who would have a clue how to do this.  So, I’m at a loss!  By the way, if anyone has a clue how to do this or knows of someone who’s actually made a portable light box (kinda like this) let me know!  It would be ideal if I didn’t have to plug it in  (I only have two outlets in my entire room and they are not located in good spots).  I don’t have a lot of money am virtually penniless due to the fact that I teach preschool – but if it only costs a little – I will try to make it!

I’ve also seen that some teachers use overhead projectors.  I like this idea too.  I’ve often wondered if this is in place of a light table (because they are less expensive) or do they use it along with a light table?  I will have to look into seeing if I can locate a used or unwanted overhead projector as this can be another option for me.  I am certainly open to any suggestions you might have.  If I over think it – I start to wonder if I even need a light table because life in my classroom has been going along just fine without one for years – so why spend the time or money?  Does it really make that much of a difference?  I dunno – I’ve never had one.

I would like to hear from those of you who have one – how do you utilize it in your class and would you recommend it for other classrooms?  Thanks, in advance, for all you have to say!


About deepbluetide

I am a pre-kindergarten teacher at a private christian school. I work mornings with 4 year olds (most of whom enter my class in July still being 3 - they're babies!) and then in the afternoon work "daycare" - which is basically my own class combined with 5 year old children. One things for sure - it's never dull! I had no idea growing up I would be teaching pre-k today! It took me totally off guard - but in the end I wouldn't change a thing! I have worked with children whose age range is 6 weeks through 12 years. In the end I have decided that my current age group is my favorite! And in case you were wondering - all names mentioned are changed to protect the identities of those involved. Enjoy!

5 responses »

  1. For the first time in my five years of teaching, I arrived on my first day and there was a big, beautiful light table. I feel lucky — but I’m sure it was too much money. I love the overhead projector, too, and that really does work as a light table as well.

    I would also suggest maybe a clear/opaque box and putting a lamp underneath it — without the lampshade — for a homemade light box that glows on all sides!

    Good luck!

  2. My light table was just finished a couple days before you posted this! I just found your blog today though!

    My hubby and his friend made it for me. You can find pics about halfways down here:

    They just cut a hole out of the top of an old endtable, and glued in a piece of acrylic plexi-glass stuff. It was clear, but they spray-painted it white. We then attached a couple fluorescent under-cabinet lights. The whole thing cost about $30.

  3. My hubby and his friend just made me a light table. You can find pics here about halfways down the page:

    They cut a hole in an old endtable. They glued in a piece of acrylic plexiglass thing that had been spray-painted white on the bottom side. They then attached a couple fluorescent under cabinet lights (take the plastic cover off that covers the bulb. Whole thing cost about $30.

  4. I placed the url for the directions I found. I have been pricing light tables too. I googled how to make one and this is what I came up with. Now I’m looking for someone to make it for me. -Tonya

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