Tuesday, March 4, 2014

DIY Light Box

Winters in Wisconsin are long (especially this year) and the days are short.  In my search to find some fun activities that take advantage of our early sunsets, I happened upon light boxes and tables.  But the price tags ranging from $50 to $400 were a bit more than I wanted to pay for something I knew my children would use a few months out of the year, but it gave me an idea.  And so I present to you my $5 DIY Light Box. 

To make this you'll need the following items:

To make this light box I first covered the bottom of my bin (the one I found in my basement had clear sides and a frosted bottom) with paper and taped it neatly.  Next, I spray painted the sides of the bin black and removed the paper and tape.   If you can't find a frosted bin, I've discovered some plastic frosted sheets you could apply to the inside of your plastic box. 

We first tried tap lights inside the box which worked just fine, but I couldn't help but wonder if a strand or two of white Christmas lights would disperse the light a bit better...and so I ventured to our basement yet again and dug two strands out of a box.  I can't say if the Christmas lights provide better light or not, but I do know we stuck with them.  One corner of my bin had a crack which actually works perfectly for this project, allowing the light cord an exit from the bin.

And voil√†, my light box was complete. 

The only money I spent on this light box was on some inexpensive toys from a local educational store, but even they probably weren't necessary.  My kids have enjoyed using the light box to trace pictures, they've laid out parquetry blocks to create silhouettes, and they love playing with their water beads on the box which roll around and feel squishy (it's a sensory explosion!). 

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