By now, you know that forts are where magic and imagination come alive for children, whether it be on a rainy day in or on an idyllic summer day with friends. Forts come alive with magic when children dare to use their own creativity to put them together, and then let their stories be just as strong as the fort they made to support the fabrics covering their fort. Yet, just like no palace is complete without furniture, no fort is complete without activities to do inside of it. So, why not encourage light table play in your fort?
While some forts may be best suited for games and others for story time, a fort can sometimes be taken to the next level with light up tables. Light tables for kids can be purchased at toy stores and on the internet, or even made using existing items at home. Light tables are great for play with young children, as the bright colors and lights are stimulating and engaging. Read on for different types of activities you can do with a light table in your fort!
It is fun and a learning experience to make constellations. Before you begin, grab some cling wrap from your kitchen and cut it into about twenty to thirty small squares. Then, with your child, draw stars of various sizes onto the transparent film. While you make the stars together, ask your child what they know about stars. You can use this opportunity to tell them about what stars actually are, how light years work, and how ancient cultures used them to explain things ranging from navigation to fate. After you create a good number of stars of various sizes, print out some constellation photos from the internet. Then, with your child, try to match your stars to the constellations you printed out! A lighted table brings them to life.
Painting is a creative activity to try. This time, wrap the entire top of your lighted table in cling wrap, creating a barrier between the table and the air. Then, set out a few colors of tempera paint in disposable cups, as well as brushes (or cotton swabs or plastic gloves – your choice). Being sure not to make a mess on the floor, allow your children to explore their artistic sides with the light table by painting over the cling-wrapped surface. If you would like to challenge them, have them paint a landscape that they choose themselves from their favorite picture book.
Let your child see leaves in a whole new light. If your child often stops to pick up leaves or rocks while in the park, encourage them to gather different types of leaves and fallen petals from outside your house. Once they have a range of options, turn on your light table and place each item on it. With the light shining through, encourage your child to make observations about what they are seeing and what the object’s function may be. This could be a great time to talk to your child about the veins in a leaf and how they contribute to a plant receiving the nutrients it needs!
No matter what your child is interested in, whether it be storytelling or art or science, light tables make a fantastic addition to your child’s Fort Magic fort!
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