This invitation to explore color mixing on the light table is perfect as the seasons are changing. The colors of autumn leaves are mesmerizing both in nature and in this light table activity!
What is a Light Table?
A light table is a translucent, flat surface, such as a tabletop- with a light source underneath, the light shines up towards the top of the table.
You may already be familiar with the concept of light tables as a drafting tool, but they have quickly become popular in early childhood classrooms everywhere.
The possibilities for playing and learning with a light table in your preschool or pre-k classroom are endless!
Where Can You Find a Light Table?
Light tables come in many different sizes and shapes. Some companies make light tables designed just to be used in preschool and pre-k classrooms, here are some of the most popular models if you have a budget:
Fall Colors on the Light Table
You will need:
Prep by coloring water with food coloring. We used gel food coloring to mix the autumn colors of green, red, orange, and yellow water. Place an eye dropper in each water container.
How To Use This Fall Colors Light Table
Present the eye droppers, the fall leaves tray, and the colored water on the light table. If you are concerned about spills, you can put the tray in a transparent bin to catch any drips. Keep a towel or paper towels nearby as well.
Ask the children to name the colors. Where else do we see these colors during the season of fall? The leaves in the trees are changing and falling. We’re going to color our own leaves with these same colors.
Fill Leaves with Color
Demonstrate for the preschoolers how to use the eye droppers to carefully fill the leaves with color. We remind our kids to squeeze the bulb of the eyedropper, put it in the water, and let it go. Squeeze, dip, let go.
After practicing how to fill one leaf with one color, demonstrate how to mix two colors together. The way the colored water swirls on the light table is so exciting! Discuss how colors change as they mix together. Yellow and red combines to create orange. What happens to our leaf if we fill it with red and green?
When the leaves are filled, carefully empty and wipe the tray clean. Preschoolers are sure to want to color the leaves again all season long!
More Light Table Ideas
- Feathers on the Light Table – Feathers are a multi-sensory natural material for preschoolers to explore. There are so many ways for children to learn and play with feathers! When presenting them on a light table, children can observe the feathers lit from below to further marvel at their structure. This is a great activity for Thanksgiving, spring, or any time of year.
- Color Sorting on the Light TableColor sorting is an important skill for preschoolers to practice. Color identification and math skills are explored simultaneously. Any activity that can be presented on the light table makes learning irresistible and mesmerizing! A bit of prep provides a preschool color sorting center that can be visited by children over and over again.
- Light Table Letter Hunt– Preschoolers love learning the alphabet through sensory exploration! This snowy letter hunt is fantastic on or off the light table. Kids will find the texture irresistible as they explore literacy in this hands on way.
BIO: Devany LeDrew is a former kindergarten teacher who writes at Still Playing School where she shares intentionally planned play based learning activities. She loves to plan ideas using the light table! Follow Still Playing School on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter!