Well, there was a big day in our house a few weeks ago. It took J.Tom several nights, and a couple of weekends to complete, but he built the kids (well, just Lexie for now…) a light table! I had seen them over at Play At Home Mom. We used several of her tips for building your own light table, found on her site here.
For months I drooled over the light table and all the fun activities it provided. I couldn’t wait for JTom to get some free time to make her one. As you probably know, we try to keep the house free of toys that don’t encourage learning or using the imagination. The light table was a definite YES item! It is awesome. A light table can be used to learn about shadow, light, contrast, color, size, shape, and many sensory activities can be done using it. So, after much hard work and me splurging on a few things to use with the table, here it is
|The box, with hardwire outlet for lights|
laying out the lights. He lined the bottom inside of the table with foil to reflect more light
|the table top, upside down. The bottom is hinged, so the bulbs can be changed
(for when they go out AND to black lights! FUN!)
|Building with Magnatiles- GREAT investment!|
|Let’s line them up!|
|“I will build you a house mommy!”|
|Her church and coins|
The transparent Magna Tiles are a must have, whether you have a light table or not! They really are so much fun, but I think they are one of those things- either a kid has the personality that loves them, or they could care less. I would (but probably shouldn’t) say that most boys are going to love them, and some girls may not be very interested in them. Lexie happens to really enjoy playing with them; she has a huge imagination, can focus on one thing for quite some time, and loves to build. They are a learning tool (which is the only reason I was okay with spending so much money on them) I was going to put away and only pull out at certain times, but she enjoys them so much, we keep them out at all times! J.Tom and I both play with them at least once a day with her. And we all share with Max; at 7.5 months old he is learning about shapes too! =)
Right now, Amazon has the 100 piece set for 20 free shipping! I really wish when I’d bought her 38 piece set that they’d had this deal! Apparently, they sell very quickly, and since they are such a hot item, the price sky rockets when you purchase from anyone other than Valtech (through Amazon) because they aren’t always available through them (yes… I did that much research on them before I purchased haha). I paid $50 for the 38 piece set, and would have gotten the 100 piece for $120 if it had been offered at the time; you really need more than 38 pieces to construct really fun, elaborate shapes and “buildings.”
Valtech, the company that makes and sells Magna-Tiles , is also having a promotion through Amazon right now. When you buy the 100 piece set above, you get the Magna Tiles Manipulative Guide free! Just be sure to follow the instructions on how to get it. Rather than show the Guide as “free” and $0 in your cart, it will take a few dollars off everything in your cart until it totals $10 off (which is the cost of the book). The book is a great resource, because there are so many ways to use and create with the Magna-Tiles, you couldn’t possibly think of them all. So the guide helps you be even more creative and intentional during learning.