We went to our local art gallery which has a brilliant light play exhibition at the moment. I also browsed through the inspiring Reggio Emilia exhibit ‘The Wonder of Learning: the Hundred Languages of Children‘. It was incredible but unfortunately did not allow photography. I wish I could have had a child-free look and took notes!
Anyway, back to the Light Play! exhibit. What they had on display was packed full of ideas that can be adapted for learning and fun at home. It is the epitomy of open-ended exploration, inquiry and play.
First to attract Lucy were the light boxes. There were so many opportunities for learning and exploring.
How do the objects change when placed on the light box?
Are their many shades of colour? Why?
Can you change the colour of an object by placing another object on top? Why?
Note the tower of measuring cups that a girl created over the time we were there.
Lucy was attracted to everything colourful. I loved that many of the manipulatives on the light tables were simple, attainable and affordable items light cups, measuring spoons and shot glasses. There were lots of mirrors as well to add another dimension to the experience. They also had these great transparent geometric solids:
Click to see on Amazon or find them here if you are from Australia.
I saw some Zoobs (sparkle variety – click picture for Amazon link) at a local store and wondered how they would go on a light table. I really loved how the containers to hold them were transparent too.
New questions came up like:
How do the sizes of the materials change on the projector?
Why are some objects brighter than others?
Why are some items that are colourful not colourful on the projected image?
Cameron’s favourite area was the shadow sculptures. He loved shining the torch on the disco ball and making it reflect off all the walls. I used the sculptures behind him to show him how translucent objects can cast coloured shadows and how moving the torch further/closer and side to side affects the shadow.
This is the only area that would be hard to replicate at home – the webcam + projector light table. It’s was very engaging. Cameron spent a lot of time with the liquid timers (see below) in front of the web camera and watching it on the screen, in the mirror and in front of him. They were mesmerising.
Set of 3 liquid timers at Modern Teaching Aids
It sure gave me a lot of inspiration for materials, experiments and play with light/shadow/reflection in our home. I definitely want to set up some shadow play after seeing Cameron’s enthusiasm. I hope you gained some inspiration – thank you for reading!