Now that the holidays are over, the long winter days can seem dreary and dull as we wait for spring flowers to bloom. Brighten your Little Pnuts day with play by creating a light box from a few items you probably have on hand!
What You Will Need
- A large, clear plastic container with lid
- Liner for the body of the container- a black garbage bag, black construction paper, or foil work well
- Parchment paper
- White Christmas lights- a strand or two will do, depending on the size of your container
Making the Light Box
First, line the body of the container with your material of choice. We used a black garbage bag – no taping required! Next, arrange your Christmas lights so they are distributed evenly throughout the container. Be sure to leave the plug near one end so you can find it easily. Now, take your lid, flip it over, and line the inside with a single layer of parchment paper to diffuse the light from within. Tape the edges down, flip it back over, and place it on top of your container. Before locking your edges down, find your plug and pull it out enough to plug into the wall. You can cut a hole in the side of the container for the plug if desired, but we didn’t need to. After that, all that remains is to plug it in and enjoy the soft glow from within the light box!
Light Box Play
There are many great ways to play with your light box with Little Pnuts of all ages! There are commercially available geometric shapes for light box play, or you can make your own by cutting up inexpensive translucent dividers. Water beads in clear containers look beautiful when placed on top of a light box (pictured)! Another fun idea – fill plastic baggies with colored hair gel or glitter glue, place flat on top of the light box, and let your Little Pnuts practice drawing shapes or writing letters in the gel with their fingers. Drawing in translucent containers filled with a shallow layer of salt is another engaging pre-writing activity for Little Pnuts that is extra-exciting on the light table. Manipulatives such as marbles, translucent gems, or sparkly pom-poms are fun for fine motor or counting activities. Older Little Pnuts may enjoy using the light box for tracing activities. A quick internet or Pinterest search for light box activities will yield many more ideas.
*Please keep in mind that children should always be supervised when playing near an electrical outlet or plug. DIY light boxes may become hot after extended periods of play, so be sure to monitor the temperature of the box periodically.
This activities focuses on the following Developmental Milestones for your Little Pnuts:
Fine Motor Skill Development, Hand/Eye Coordination, Focus & Concentration, Imaginative Play, Creativity, Sensory Exploration, Cognitive and Language Development
—Stephanie Haass, Little Pnuts Early Childhood Activities Expert & Blogger, www.two-daloo.com