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!
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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. We got a light panel for home! 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:
We had to get the transparent coloured 3D shapes (we got ours 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.
Cameron went straight to the overhead projectors (OHPs) which looked impressive taking up lots of wall space. I have an awesome friend who is giving us an OHP soon so it was great for inspiration.
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?
I saw a few adults creating patterns on the OHPs too. One child spent most of their time getting in front of the projected image and marveling at the colours on her shirt and skin.
Lucy was more fascinated by the overhead projector OHP itself. She kept pointing at and questioning it.
The reflections corner was completely bypassed by both Cameron and Lucy (unless you count Lucy donning one of the sparkly wigs.
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.
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!
Thank you for reading!
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What a fantastic post! Such a lovely range of inspiration- my brother actually snagged an OHP for me a couple years before I had the twins or even knew about REA- he knew I had enjoyed using them for art projects in college. It had been sitting in our attic until recently, but it still works! I can’t wait to start incorporating it into our activities.
Oh you’ll have so much fun Stephanie. Be sure to check out my OHP post (https://www.racheous.com/kids-activities/reggio-overhead-projector-play/) for more inspiration. Awesome that it still works! :)
Katie @ Happily Ever Mom says
Racheous! Thank you so much for documenting this! Everything is gorgeous. I love trying to think outside of the box for activities with kids – this is inspiring! Thank you!!
It was a huge boost in inspiration for us! Watch out for a post on shadow exploration coming up soon :)
Wow. What an incredible exhibition!
I wish we could have gone more than once! So much to explore and discover (both for the kids and for ideas for me) Thanks for commenting Dyan.
Wow, that looks like amazing fun! Thank you for sharing at our Pinning for Play link party!
It was a great experience and has inspired so much more light/shadow/reflection exploration at home with our light table, overhead projector, mirrors and torches :) Thank you for stopping by!
Jolanthe (@jolantheerb) says
It looks like you all had so much fun!
We truly did. Thank you for visiting Jolanthe :)
Looks so awesome! I can see my guys playing with those liquid timers for awhile. xoxo P
Cameron was mesmerised! I have added them to our wishlist :) Thank you for reading and commenting Pauline.
That looks like a ton of fun! I’ve been to a few no-camera exhibits too, and it’s always so hard to leave it in my purse! ;)
Oh I struggled, particularly because I didn’t think to bring something to take notes! Thanks for reading Carla :)
That looks like so much fun and a great learning experience too!
It truly was. The kids were in awe! Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment Lorie :)
Jen Barry says
That exhibition looks amazing. I wish it was on in Sydney. We just bought a light table for my son but I haven’t bought anything to use on it yet. I’ll have to start looking around for some translucent items. Thanks for the inspiration.
There are some great DIY light table manipulatives on Pinterest. It’s such a dynamic tool for exploration :) Thank you for popping by Jen! I truly appreciate it.
~ joey ~ says
What a fantastic display! Your children are the perfect ages for this kinds of activity, lucky you!! Thanks so much for sharing your creative idea on my link up, I hope you’ll be back next week!
Enjoy your weekend,
~ joey ~
They were! It was awesome as it was a free display and so rich in ideas :) I always love visiting your blog. Thank you for popping by Joey!