45+ Best Light Table Activities to Spark Curiosity and Creativity.

A light table, as the name indicates, is a table that has an illuminated surface on top and is slowly becoming a popular tool for children’s learning.

They are great mediums for kids to play, engage, learn, and have fun other than using just the traditional methods of paper-led learning.

It presents opportunities for kids to develop their fine motor skills, literary and math skills, and fosters creativity. 💡

Light Table Activities for Your Kids 

Light tables are a colorful and versatile medium that makes learning exciting for kids. 

The illuminated surface of the light table adds to the excitement of doing these various activities and enhances their learning experience.

In this blog post, I have compiled a list of activities you can do with your kids using the light table as a medium of learning and enjoyment. 😄

Practice Pre-Writing Lines

Practice Pre-Writing Lines

The first step to teaching kids to write letters and numbers is to get their lines and strokes in place. 

Draw different lines – straight, curvy, zig zag, on paper strips and place them on the light table. Encourage your kids to trace along the lines with tiny beads to get adapted to the way the lines are made.

Practice Letters and Numbers

Practicing writing letters and numbers can become monotonous for your kids, but you can make it fun using this activity.

Write the letters and numbers on individual transparency sheet cards and place them on the light table. 

Kids can trace over these written letters and numbers, keeping them as a reference, with tiny beads to make writing practice more engaging. 🔡🔢

Sort and Count Apples

A simple sorting and counting activity with apples that my son enjoyed.

Place a mix of red and green acrylic apples on the light table along with two small clear containers with bottoms colored with red and green markers.

Kids can sort the acrylic apples based on colors, count them, and place them in matching containers. 🍎🍏

Sort Shapes

Sort Shapes

A simple sorting activity to help kids identify and learn the different shapes. 🔺

Place translucent shape links and pattern block manipulatives on the light table with containers allocated for each shape. Encourage kids to sort the shapes and put them in the assigned shape containers. 

Sort Colors

A fun activity to help kids identify and sort the different colors. 🟨

Cut circle transparency papers of different colors and place them on the light table.

Provide kids with translucent counter chips in various colors and let them match the colored chips to the corresponding colored circles. 

Sort Rainbow Colors 

Kids can learn the order of the colors of the rainbow with this sorting activity.

Cut strips of crepe paper in rainbow colors and laminate them. 

Arrange the colors in rows of the order of the rainbow colors, and kids can place color blocks matching the colors on the strips. 🌈

Count with Circles

Count With Circles

My son found counting to be simple and fun with this activity.

Cut medium and small-sized circles from transparency sheets and laminate them. Label the medium ones with numbers from 1-10 using a marker.

You can arrange them in order, and the kids can count and place the small circles accordingly to match the numbers. 🔴

Pro Tip:

You can also recreate this activity with number tiles and transparent circle manipulatives for kids to count.

Count with Glass Beads

An easy way to teach kids to learn numbers and count with glass beads. 🧮

Label individual clear containers with numbers from 1-20 using a marker. 

Place the containers in order on the light table. Kids can add colored glass beads in each container according to the number written on them.

Fill Missing Letters

The next step to learning the letters is for kids to remember the order they appear in the alphabet.

Place letters tiles on the light table in the order of the alphabet, leaving empty spaces for a few missing letters. Make your kids identify the missing letters in the order and place the appropriate letter tiles to complete the alphabet. 🔍

Pro Tip:

The same recognition activity can be done using numbers, where kids can complete the order of the numbers.

Fill Outlines with Loose Parts

Print or draw a template with outlines of objects and designs on transparent paper, and place them on the light table. 

Let your kids fill the spaces of the outlines with manipulatives – loose parts like translucent glass beads, mosaic tiles, and color chips. ⭕️

Visualize a Story

Visualize A Story

A fun storytelling and art activity for kids where you can visualize and bring the characters and stories from their favorite books to life. 📖

Use transparency papers to trace the characters from a book your kids love. Outline them with a marker.

Get your kids to color these traced characters and cut along the outlines. Place these characters on the light table and recreate the story with your kids while also creating new versions of stories. 

Stack Towers with Cups

A popular and fun game that everyone, including my son, loves playing. 🗼

Give your kids transparent plastic cups to stack on top of each other on the light board in a pyramid shape with levels.

As they balance the cups, kids develop hand-eye coordination and muscle control.

Create Geometric Patterns

An art activity that can help kids understand the concepts of symmetry and patterns and learn to create them. 💠

Encourage your kids to arrange transparent geometric chip manipulatives on the light table in symmetry to create beautiful patterns.

Trace Shapes

A fun activity for kids to get adapted to drawing different shapes and improve fine motor skills and pencil practice.

Place a sheet of paper on the light table with shaped cookie cutters. Encourage your kids to trace inside the cookie cutters with a pencil to form the outlines of shapes. 🔷

Pro Tip:

After tracing the shapes, you can make your kids color and add details to the drawn shapes.

Draw and Paint

Draw And Paint

Creating art on paper is fun, but doing so on an illuminated surface has its own magic.

Tape a sheet of easel paper or any other thin paper over the light table. Kids can use this as their canvas to draw and paint with the light shining through the sheet of paper. ✏️

Make Washi Tape Art

A fun art project that encourages kids to use their creativity and helps develop their fine motor skills. 🎨

Place a transparency sheet on the light table. Let your kids cut the washi tape into pieces and stick them on the sheet to create shapes and designs. 

Discover Color Mixing

A fun activity for kids to expose kids to the concept of mixing two colors. 🖍️

Place transparent plastic sheets on the light table in the primary colors – red, blue, and yellow.

Play around with the sheets by overlapping the color sheets for kids to discover how blending two colors forms a whole new color. 

Magnify Objects

My son enjoyed doing this simple activity with magnifying glasses. 🔎

Place small objects on the light table ranging from leaves, flowers, seeds, shells, etc., for your kids to look through with magnifying glasses.

This allows them to explore and observe closely the different textures and patterns on the objects.

Play with Lego

Play With Lego

My son loves playing with Lego blocks and pieces, and more so on the light table. Activities with Lego building blocks are loved by kids, and it keeps them engaged and entertained. 🧱

Pro Tip:

You can switch the usual opaque Lego blocks and pieces with translucent ones for an added effect on the light table.

Make Finger-Painting Art

Time for your kids to get their fingers messy to create art! 🖌️

Get your kids to dip their fingers in washable paints and use the light board as a canvas to create beautiful designs. You can create random designs or follow a theme for the art activity.

Build Word Formations

If your kids have learned the alphabet, the next step is to teach them word formations.

Print the alphabet on transparency paper and cut them into individual letter cards. Form words with the letter cards and place them on the light table.

Encourage your kids to use transparent letter tiles to mimic the word you formed using the letter cards as a guide. 🔠

Pro Tip:

You can use a mix of uppercase and lowercase letters for kids to form words. You can remove the letter cards when kids get used to building words without help.

Build Spiderwebs 

Build Spiderwebs

My daughter enjoys creating spiderwebs.

Cut yarn or string into many long pieces, and your kids can arrange these yarn pieces into a repeating pattern to create spiderwebs. You can also place some spiders on the completed webs. 🕷️🕸️

Pro Tip:

Get your kids to help you cut the yarn if they’re capable of holding a pair of scissors. This will help them with scissor practice and improve their pincer grip.

Learn About Fractions

Fractions can be daunting for kids, so it’s important to incorporate fun activities to teach your kids about fractions. 📏

Pattern blocks can be utilized to teach your kids fractions on the light board in an engaging and fun way, where you can visually demonstrate the different measurements.

Write and Draw in Shaving Cream

Spread a thin layer of shaving cream on the surface of the light table and let your kids explore the texture of the foam.

They can practice writing letters and words or drawing lines and shapes using the foam, making the task much more exciting. 🧴

This activity provides a great sensory medium for kids, allowing them to get their fingers messy and play around with the airy shaving cream.

Experiment with Melting Ice

Experiment With Melting Ice

A simple science experiment with ice that my son loved doing.

Place a clear baking dish or tray with a handful of large ice cubes on the light table. Add a few drops of watercolors in different colors on top of the ice.

When the ice cubes start melting away, the various colors come together to form beautiful patterns. 🧊

Write and Draw in Rice

Spread a thin layer of white rice to cover the base of the light table. Kids can write and draw in the rice, which doubles as a sensory activity that stimulates their senses and makes learning more fun. 🍚

You can customize various activities that your kids can do with the rice, like practicing letters, words, numbers and drawing lines and objects.

Pro Tip:

You can do this activity with sand or salt as an alternative to the rice grains.

Engage in Small World Play

Small worlds are real-life areas and imaginary worlds recreated on a miniature scale using toys and props. This play activity helps kids expand their imaginations and explore the world around them. 💭

Some small world play theme ideas you can design with your kids are – camping, art gallery, rainforest, garden, and so on.

Set Up a Small World Art Gallery

My son and I enjoyed setting up an art gallery on the light table to build a small world as pretend play. 

Give your kids small squares of paper and let them draw and color on them to include in their art exhibit.

Display the art squares on the light table using wooden clothespins to hold them upright. Place toy people as the visitors viewing the art display squares to recreate an art gallery small world. 🖼️

Learn to Tell Time

Learn To Tell Time

Learning to read a clock is a skill that is necessary in everyday life. 🕰️

On a medium-sized transparent plastic plate, write the hours with a marker. Cut out circles from transparency paper and write the minutes (0-55).

Make a hole in the center of the plate and add the hour and minute hands made from colored transparency papers. Place the plastic plate on the light table with the circles around it. 

Kids can position the hands of the clock according to the time you want them to tell.

Engage in Sensory Play

Sensory play is a hands-on method to let children explore and interact with different items and nurture their senses. 🧠

Turn the light table into a sensory experience by covering it with sensory items like rice, sand, glass beads, and manipulatives for kids to play around with.

Create Snowflakes

Kids can create snowflake patterns with shape pattern block manipulatives and keep doing them to form a collection of snowflakes. ❄️

You can use this activity to introduce kids to patterns and symmetry.

Thread Straws 

My son enjoys doing this activity which also helps improve fine motor skills.

Cut the straws into small pieces and place them on the light table. Encourage your kids to thread the straws through a string to link them all together. 🧶

Pro Tip:

After the kids have finished this activity, they can use the threaded straws to form letters, numbers, and shapes.

Complete a Jigsaw Puzzle

Complete A Jigsaw Puzzle

Encourage your kids to put together jigsaw puzzles they like on the light table, which creates an illuminated glow as they piece it together. 🧩

Piecing together jigsaw puzzles keeps them engaged and helps kids improve their visual and spatial reasoning.

Observe Shadows

My son loves doing this activity and was introduced to shadow formations through this observation activity. 👀

Place different objects on the light table and let your kids observe how the light interacts with these objects on the table to cast shadows.

Recreate Constellations

My son loves this activity and learning about the different constellations and their stories.

Create a night sky background by taping navy blue and black transparency papers to the light table. Print the constellations on a sheet of paper for reference.

Let your kids use translucent star links or beads to recreate the constellation patterns on the night sky of the light table. 🌌

Pro Tip:

You can also make a fun activity where kids can create their constellation patterns and assign fun names and stories for each using their imagination.

Create Art Arrangements 

An art activity where kids can use their imagination and creativity to create beautiful art arrangements. 🖼️

Kids can draw objects and shapes on colored transparency papers and cello sheets, cut them and then place them in an arrangement on the light table to create art.

Decorate Tree Outlines

My son enjoys doing this scatter activity to decorate trees.

Outline and cut a tree with branches on a sheet of construction paper and place it on the light table. 

Let your kids adorn the outlined branches of the tree by scattering the pieces of acrylic leaves and apples. 🌳

Transfer Small Objects

Transfer Small Objects

A fun game that also doubles as an activity to help kids improve fine motor skills and concentration.

Place two bowls on the light table, and add a handful of small objects to one of the bowls – shells, pompoms, beads, buttons, or marbles. 🐚

The goal is for kids to transfer all the contents from one bowl to another using tweezers, spoons, or tongs. 

Explore X-Rays

A fun and engaging activity that kids will be fascinated by.

Collect old X-Rays or print some on transparency sheets and place them on the light table. Let your kids explore the details of the bone structures. 

You can also create your own X-Rays on the light table using cellophane sheets and cotton buds.

Create a Puppet Show

Kids can develop their storytelling and creative abilities using handmade puppets and creating a puppet show on the light table. 🎪

You can draw and cut the characters and objects on acetate sheets to incorporate into your puppet show.

Play with Cars

Play With Cars

My son loves playing with his toy cars, and this was the perfect activity for him.

Set up a racing track and roadways on the light table with translucent thin pieces. Place a few toy cars on the surface of your racetrack and let your kids race and drive their toy cars around. 🚗

Pro Tip:

You can also draw the lines of the track on transparency sheets and place them on the light table.

Build Toothpick Structures

Gather a bunch of toothpicks and playdough. Kids can build different structures with the toothpicks and use the blobs molded from playdough to join the ends of the toothpicks together. 

This activity is helpful for kids to increase their concentration along with fine motor skills.

Create Faces

Draw an outline of a face on a sheet of paper and place it on the light table. Draw pieces of the face features – eyes, nose, mouth, ears; accessories – sunglasses, bows, earrings, etc. in different styles. The funnier, the better! 😆

Place the different styles of the features and accessories on the outline to create fun and eclectic faces. 


I hope you enjoyed reading about the many ways in which I make use of the light table to curate activities for my son.

Please comment below which activities you liked and would try at home with your kids. ☺️

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