For whatever reason, I had a light table growing up. It was probably 18″ x 10″ and I used it all the time, especially for drawing.
Pinterest informed me though that little kids use light tables now! I liked the concept of a DIY table. I wanted to get it done during E’s nap, though, so I worked with what was around the house. This is about function — not looks! I estimate though that this would cost about $25 – more than worth it!
What I used:
- 2 nice storage bins, same width x length but different height. I used two nice quality Sterilite bins from Home Depot. They had dark gray but transparent lids that turned out to be convenient; definitely try to find transparent lids!
- Parchment sheet
- Christmas lights – I used one strand of rope lights
- Duct Tape
- Clear Tape
- Sensory activity materials (see more below)
Here are the simple steps:
1. Line the inside of the largest bin with aluminum foil. The big rolls from the club store were convenient size-wise but you don’t really need that much foil. Attach with duct tape if needed.
2. Put lights inside the bin.
3. Line inside of one of the lids with parchment paper. Attach with clear tape.
4. Put on the lid, plug it in and you have a light table! (I put a piece of paperboard yogurt packaging between the lid and parchment for a cool effect.)
Sensory Bin steps:
5. For the sensory bin, simply nest the smaller bin inside the larger bin, without a lid of course.
6. Put sensory materials inside. Based on how much he liked the salt, we went with that. We used a whole box from a club store — a good use of 88 cents! Then we’ve put some other things — funnels, scoops, his new beakers, transparent buttons, spoons and bowls.
A note, I have been able to either close the lid on top or push the second bin down on the first one and the power cord for the lights is fine.
Now I don’t find this to be a fire hazard — I am glad I had the nice strand of covered rope lights; regular Christmas lights would probably make me more nervous. I don’t find that it gets very hot but I wouldn’t recommend leaving it on very long. But of course, adult supervision is always expected!