Updated: Nov 15, 2021
I have always wanted a light table BUT never had the space or the budget! With new technology I now have what I think is better than a light table…. a light pad! In fact, we have 3!!
I have used the light pad in these four curriculum areas so far:
Early literacy and story centred play
Art, transient art with loose parts.
STEM with magnet and magnetic wands.
Maths and counting
Music and singing
I wasn’t sure if I should get an A2 or A4. I went with the 3 of the A4 light pads which cost the same as the A2. There would be benefits to the A2 in having more children being able to use it but the A4 was more mobile. I also love a light pad because it is rechargeable and portable (with either size). Whereas a table had to be plugged into the wall and was quite cumbersome.
A happy dance find of a plastic fish is what got me started. The fish was transparent and I though perfect for the rainbow fish and I had magnet chips that could be used as scales. I provided tweezers for a little fine motor challenge and magnetic wands for a bit of STEM. The children loved telling the story and adding the scales. Now to find another plastic fish! I revisited this later when I came up with the L shaped folder hack!
For the next book and story centered play I wanted to use the light pad for was the colour monster.
We LOVE the colour monster and after creating a story basket I wanted another extension. I spotted a FREE jar template with coloured lids and thought it was perfect for the story. I used magnet chips and tweezers again but this time for the children to fill the jars. A teacher on the page This is why I teach.ec suggest transparency paper so that you could see through the jars better and this DIY hack used next.
But before that hack I used the same jars but cut of the coloured lids and they became vases for pressed dried flowers to be arranged in. You could easily use cut out flowers from magazines.
Art was my next play and learning set up. The children love transient art and loose parts and both worked well on the light pad. I had images from an old calendar and I also had a printed image of Vincent van Gogh’s the starry night. The transparent paper was the inspiration for discovering and using coloured L shared folders to colour the light pad.
Now the transparent paper! I simply printed the dog from the dog' colourful day book on the transparent paper on a photocopier and again added my magnetic chips and it was ready for the children to retell the story and add the jam, grass… spots to the dog.
Because the transparent paper was so quick and cheap to use, I wanted to use it again. I was stuck on another way until I shared my story basket ten apples up on top. Using the lightpad became an excellent extension to my story basket sharing and making. I found an image with the characters in the book and photocopied them onto the transparent pare and we were ready to count the apples and put them on top of the animals heads.
As we were singing here is the beehive and where are the bees I suddenly thought that I could cut a beehive for the bees to ‘hide’ in and so I made one from and L shaped coloured folder. The children loved hiding and counting the wooden bees. It was simple to make and I just printed off a beehive, traced it with permanent pen and then cut it out leaving the bottom attached .
The last activity was created by the children They were making castles with magnetic tiles and chips for the rainbow peg dolls and wanted the light pad in the centre to light up the castle. I was excited with this suggestion and got it got them. I also saw they used the magnetic chips as decorations for the castle. So my STEM in the play and all initiated by them. The next day as an extension I added a book and some other items for story centred play for the princess and the pea. I shared this story with the children at a mat time and then left it out for them to retell the story.
I am LOVING the light pad and am excited to see what other ideas will come from the children to support areas of the curriculum. I now have a pack of transparent paper ready and waiting. It has been exciting to see how many curriculum areas a light pad has supported in a short space of time.
I look forward to sharing more light pad play and learning.
Until next time Michelle
There are affliate links in this blog and if you use them I may get some money.