Light Boxes – Do It Yourself
Light boxes are such a useful tool for therapy, and are so easy to make. That’s right, you don’t even need to spend a fortune buying a ready made one – it is simple to make one yourself. The Imagination Tree and Happy Hooligans show you how simple and easy it is – as I found out today when trying to make my own.
Light boxes are such a good sensory tool for children, and can encourage the enhancement of all kinds of skills.
For children who are learning to express their emotions a light box can be used for art. Just cover yours in cling film and use watercolours to paint on it. You can also colour in on paper on top of the light box – this too works well.
If your child has tactile problems, and doesn’t like having objects touching their hands, or getting messy, the light box can be a good way of encouraging this. Using sand or rice on top of the light box, or even sorting little transparent beads, can help make getting messy and using their sense of touch more fun.
Light boxes are also a good way to encourage movement. Sitting and kneeling posture can be taught depending on the height of the light box, children can sit next to it and play. It can also be a good way to teach ‘reaching’ skills by reaching for items on top of the box, or knock over towers that you have made. Young babies can also sit on top of your light box and roll around on it, learning to crawl, roll and use their hands and legs. Tissue paper is a good way to encourage infants to move around on a light box – let them crinkle it up with their body and enjoy the sound.
Those struggling with handwriting can use shapes or bingo chips to make letters – a good way to learn how to form letters away from the pen and paper. This can also help when teaching how to spell, as children can practice spelling on top of the light box, reinforcing the correct spelling of certain words.
There are so many ways you can use a light box with children – and you can have so much fun making your own games and activities. It’s not expensive to buy some card and make shapes for your children to play with, or even some felt. Try making themed shapes for your children to play with (this is especially handy when you are using your light box with many different children of different ages – not all of them will find the same themes interesting). Anything that is slightly transparent and colourful is great to be used with a light box – even cups and straws. So go mad!
For more awesome ideas on how to use your light box, I found this page by Michelle Clyne extremely helpful.
Written by: Philippa Berry