Tag Archives: light table

5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table

We’re formulating new goals for the year for our preschooler right now, and a portion of those goals focus on pre-writing and writing skills.

I’d also like to be using our light table more than we have been.

How about combining the two?

5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand

5 Pre-Writing Activities to Use with a Light Table

  1. Letter Tracing with Stencils – So I took the long, hard way here. I freehand drew uppercase letters (don’t look too close; they’re a bit ugly) and cut out the inside of the letter. I then laminated the letters. When we placed a letter on the light table, my son could take his finger and trace the inside of the letter to begin to learn how to form each letter. A way easier method: if you have actual cardstock or plastic stencils (that are large enough), just use those and have your child trace inside the open portion of the stencil. Regardless, my son loved this activity. The light shines through the lamination and illuminates where he should trace. He went through about 16 letters in one sitting without taking a break! I hand-over-hand modeled how to write the letter once or twice, then he practiced once or twice on his own (with guidance if needed).5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand
    Variations: If your child is ready, they can use a wet erase marker and draw the letter on the lamination. Or, you can place a piece of white paper over top of the letter and draw the letter with a crayon.
  2. Letter Tracing on Transparencies – To make these simply, write the letter backwards on a small piece of transparency. When you take these letter cards to the light table, flip them over so marker doesn’t wipe off as your child tracing the letter (or place another transparency on top). As your child’s prewriting skills progress, you can allow them to trace over the letter with a wet erase marker to practice. I drew lower case letters since I used uppercase letters with the first activity.
    UPDATE: I created a free printable of lowercase letters that you use to make your own traceable letters on transparencies! Click here to download your free lowercase letters template for transparencies. Read the directions on the first page for effective use.

    5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand

  3. Forming Letters with Pipe Cleaners – You can do this activity with or without a light table, but it adds another layer of fun when you put the pipe cleaner on the light table. I asked my son to form an “o,” which he was able to do. I formed one or two other letters with a pipe cleaner and ask him to identify each. (My toddler was able to jump in and identify some letters, too.) He wasn’t as interested in this activity this time, but we’ll try again soon.
    5 Pre-Writing Activities for the Light Table via Under God's Mighty Hand
  4. Letter and Sound Matching – In this post at Caution: Twins at Play, she shares an example of how her kids drew a line to match a letter to an item starting with that letter. Matching activities like these help with pre-writing skills, too.
  5. Letter Writing in Sand – Place a shallow layer of sand (1/2” or 1”) in a clear plastic container, then set the container on top of a light table. Draw letters in the sand and allow your child to trace over your letters or draw their own letters and shapes. This post at Learn, Play, Imagine shows how they used Epsom salts for a similar activity and more sensory play.

See our other posts on light table activities here.

For more light table activity ideas, check out my Light Table board on Pinterest and the “Light Tables, Light Boxes, Light Panels, and Light Play” group board on Pinterest.

What prewriting activities could you modify for use on a light table? Please share your ideas in the comments!

This post was a featured post at Lessons Learnt Journal!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-UpHomeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten CornerTuesday TotsHearts for Home linkupTender Moments with Toddlers and Preschoolers, the Weekly Kids Co-op, and Show and Share Saturday.

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Introducing Preschoolers to the Light Table - Under God's Mighty Hand

Introducing Preschoolers to the Light Table

We were recently blessed to have been gifted a light table.

Several companies create products specifically for light tables. There are also so many activities you can implement from materials around your home!

Not able to get your hands on a light table yet? Check out this tutorial on Teach Preschool sharing how to make your own light table!

Introducing Preschoolers to the Light Table - Under God's Mighty Hand

A Light Table Introduction

When we first received a light table, we were also given these fun translucent blocks from Constructive Playthings. Durable and a solid weight, they’re fun to build with and explore light shading and colors.

This week, we’ve also been exploring new objects on our light table. We kept it fairly simple and play-based for these initial explorations.

We gathered flowers, leaves, and blades of grass on an afternoon walk and explored how these nature objects look on the light table.

The blades of grass elicited a “wow!” from my husband and myself. The veins of both the clover leaves and the blades of grass were so visible and distinct. (Excuse the quality of photos on this post. The lighting, while awesome, isn’t ideal for photographing.)

Introducing Preschoolers to the Light Table - Under God's Mighty Hand

We explored how different shades and colors look on the light table. Though we haven’t gone into detail about the parts of a flower yet (other than petals, leaves, and stem), the light table seemed to illuminate the stamen and pistil even better.

Examining nature on the light table is the perfect time to begin magnifying glass skills, too. My son wasn’t focusing as much as I had hoped on this particular day, but he definitely loved looking at anything around him with the magnifying glass, including leaves, Momma’s fingers, flowers, the window, Daddy’s beard, and more. :-)

Introducing Preschoolers to the Light Table - Under God's Mighty Hand

Additional Nature Play Light Table Activities

Categorization – Ask your preschooler to put all the leaves in one pile and the flowers in another. Or sort by color. Or by flower size. Or number of leaves on one stem. This was the part my son didn’t focus on this particular day. We’ll revisit these activities.

Color mixing – See what happens when you layer a red flower petal over a yellow one. Or what happens to the shade of purple with two or three flower petals overlap?

Baby play – While she didn’t know the terms we used, our youngest loved exploring the feel of the flowers compared to the blades of grass. She affirmed cause-and-effect when she tore leaves from stems. She heard us use the labels “flower,” “petal,” “grass,” and “leaves.” We pointed out colors. The more she hears these words, the deeper she understands.

Introducing Preschoolers to the Light Table - Under God's Mighty Hand

Baby Girl did some good exploring shredding up plants. ;-)

In future nature play light table sessions, I may create (or find) some printables to focus learning and exploration. Any you recommend, or any specific printables you’d like to see?

For more light table activity ideas, check out my Light Table board on Pinterest!

Have you ever used a light table in preschool play? What activities have you done or would you want to do with a light table?

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*Extra note: The Bundle of the Week this week is full of awesome preschool ebooks! The ebooks included are:

I have the first two of these ebooks and can attest to the value they provide. Plus, 5 ebooks for only $7.40 is a really great deal! To read more about these ebooks, click here.

This particular ebook bundle is only available until 8am EST on Monday, April 8th. (Then, it will switch to a new topic of ebooks.) Click here to check out this useful preschool ebook bundle!

BundleoftheWeek.com, 5 eBooks for $7.40!

This post is also linked up with The Homeschool Village’s Ultimate Homeschool Link-Up and Homeschool Creation’s Preschool and Kindergarten Corner, UpsideDown Homeschooling’s Hearts for Home linkup, and the Weekly Kids Co-op at B-Inspired Mama.

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Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links associated with the Bundle of the Week. If you choose to purchase the ebook bundle through these links, I will receive a small portion at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting this blog!