Light tables are great for young kids and preschoolers as they invite them to explore play through light, shadow, colour and transparency. The light table adds a very unique element to their exploration and plays which ultimately encourages their sense of curiosity, exploration and problem-solving skills.
I started using the light table when my son was 18 months to have a unique way to look at different colours on the light table.
In this blog post, I would like to share the materials I used and the steps I followed to DIY this light table for my son. Once I figured out which materials to use, the whole project took about 10 minutes to assemble – Yes, I promise, it was that EASY!
- A table – I used an Ikea Lack table which I found for free on the internet
- An LED light strip – I used a 5M Smart LED light strip like this one which has a remote to change the lighting colour
- Perspex or Acrylic Sheet (like this one) cut to size 450 x 450 x 8mm
- 1 sheet of A1 Tracing paper cut to size 450 x 450 mm. I purchased a roll of tracing paper to cut to size and reuse the leftover for other DIY projects; similar to this one
- White paint – I just used the Crayola one we already had at home for other painting projects. Crayola white paint
- Some tape, measuring tape, cutter, ruler and pencil
- 4 large screws
- An electric screwdriver. I wanted a sturdy electric screwdriver for all my DIY craft and home projects so I invested in this one from Bosch. I have been using it for over 5 years without any issues!
- Draw a square in the middle of the table using a pencil: 400 x 400 mm
- Cut the upper layer of the table using a cutter
- Remove the inner cardboard layer
- Drill a hole on one side of the table for the LED light strip to go through
- Pain the inside of the table using white paint. Let it dry overnight
- Prepare your A1 tracing paper by cutting it 450 x 450mm
- Tape the LED light strip in a circular manner and make sure it goes through the hole you drilled to plug it in
- Place your 450 x 450 mm tracing paper on top of the table
- Place your perspex or acrylic sheet on top of the tracing paper
- Drill screws in the four corners of the perspex or acrylic sheet to make sure they don’t move around
- Plug into your nearest powerpoint. Alternatively, you can buy a battery-operated LED light strip which costs a bit more but looks oh-so-much better especially if you want to place your light table in the middle of the play space.
- And turn the light on – Voilà!
As your kids use the light table, they play and imagine. Try to incorporate a dedicated French-inspired environment using your DIY light table, they will be building fantastic content-specific vocabulary in French!
Have you DIY’ed a light table, or are you planning on creating one? I’d love to hear from you below.