Tag Archives: light

DIY Lite Brite Board

Ever since I made a light box (read more about it here) I knew I wanted to do something with all the lite brite pegs we have all over the playroom floor. I have been thinking HARD about how exactly to pull it off when inspiration hit me. OK, more like a piece of cardboard….

We went to Ikea today to get some bookcases. After my husband opened up the box to start putting them together, I noticed that encased in all the plywood was a beautiful, thick piece of corrugated cardboard. Perfect for a Lite Brite board- something we could add our pegs to and easily take on/off our light box. It was as if Destiny knew that we would buy bookcases and threw in a future lite brite scrap just for us. ūüôā

Once I realized it was the perfect material for us to use, I set to work playing with lite brites. I made some mistakes¬†(ginormous holes)¬†as you will see in the pictures below… but I was just experimenting to find the best way to make a lite brite board!

Materials:
Light Table/ Light Box (read here for more details)
Lite Brite pegs
Corrugated Cardboard (can be found in packaging stores or Ikea!)

To Make the Lite Brite Board:
Mark one side of the cardboard with a “B”. This will be the back. It is important to remember which side is the back, since the holes made in the front are different.
Take a lite brite peg. On the backside push the peg all the way through the cardboard until it makes a little hole on the other side. For us, we just had to push it until the peg was flush with the cardboard but the thickness of your cardboard may be different.

Back of Lite Brite Board

Once you have made several holes, turn the cardboard over to the front side. Find the small holes and push in just the tip of the peg, so the top part is sticking out (just like in a real Lite Brite).

Front of the Lite Brite Board

Once I made a few random holes and saw how cool it was, I set to work making this semi-educational for my daughter. I wrote her nickname mirrored on the back and marked spots where I wanted to put the pegs.

Back of Lite Brite board getting ready to add Lite Brites.

Turn the board over to see the word “Boo” marked by tiny holes (not big enough for a Lite Brite peg yet).

 Insert just the tips of the pegs into the tiny holes.

Pretty soon you will see something like this… your very own Lite Brite creation. Boo will have a great time writing her name with these colorful pegs!

While I initially just played with it on top of the light box, you could also lay it against the side of the box. I also added another piece of cardboard on top to dampen the light in the room a bit.

One of the coolest thing about having a Lite Brite board (as opposed to the actual manufactured toy) is that you can turn it around and see the back. It was more cool than the front! The picture just doesn’t do it justice…. it was like little pits of color. Can you imagine the fun Christmas displays you can make with these in your window?¬†

 Here is a pic of just the holes- without the pegs its still pretty neat!

Our light box has been so much fun- there are so many different ways of playing with light. So if you happen to have lots of Lite Brite pegs laying around- consider making a board and using them on your light box!
Happy Teaching!

DIY Light Box and Teaching Ideas

Oh, the wonder and magic of playing with light! I have wanted to make a light box for awhile, and I finally set the goal and got it done. I had no idea that there was SO many different (and educational!) things you could do with light!

Light Box Materials:
Clear plastic under-the-bed Rubbermaid container
2 fluorescent lights

To make the light box, I just turned the Rubbermaid container upside down with the 2 lights inside. It isn’t anything fancy- but it was SO easy!!

Light Box Manipulatives:
Colored accent gems, transparencies (teaching manipulatives I used with an overhead projector), dry erase marker & sheet protector, geometry mirror, microscope slides & magnifying glass

There are tons of different ways to play with a light box. I am going to list some of our ideas- enjoy!

Science:
Pull out your old microscope slides! A light box is a perfect way to view ’em! It’s also a great way to view x-rays.

Looking at a fruit fly with a magnifying glass and our new light box

Math
We made lots of designs with pattern blocks. Boo and I also played and sorted money, made shapes with our geoboard, spun the colored spinner, and created symmetrical patterns with our geometry mirror. With the exception of the mirror, the rest of our math light box manipulatives are old overhead projector teaching materials. And since overhead projectors are on their way out in lots of schools, I bet you could snatch some of these up for a great price.

Geoboard designs and colorful spinners
Geometry mirrors- they are such a fun math manipulative! It’s a great tool for teaching symmetry!
Playing and sorting dollars and coins
Art
We used our pattern blocks to make colors. It was a fast way to show that yellow and blue make green! 
Literacy
I grabbed a dry erase marker and a sheet protector and Boo and I had fun reading words! We played a simple game where a predator was trying to get Boo’s stuffed animal and so we had to read the clues to figure out who he was and what he¬†intended¬†to do if he caught us.¬†
Reading and writing words
And of course, we did a LOT of free play.

Boo playing with 2 geometry mirrors and accent gems

A big source of light-play inspiration goes to Play at Home Mom– she has some “bright” ideas on her blog! ūüôā
I would love to hear about your light play! Now to figure out how to make a “Lite-Brite” with our new box….
Happy Teaching!

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