Creating Time Together

    By Nicole Wenger

My life would be incomplete if I weren’t creating on a daily basis. Most of all, I love creating with my boys. We enjoy sewing, painting, cooking, gardening, woodworking, stamping, felting, blowing things up and more; and truth be told, we are more creative during different seasons of our lives. While the “things” we create are fun and satisfying, what is most important is the time I spend with my children.

As a child, some of my fondest memories are centered around experiences with my grandparents. My grandmother was the first person to teach me how to thread a needle on a sewing machine. I learned how to sing Polish songs stuffing pillows with duck feathers, and I love Kapusta because I cooked it with my great-grandmother. Those memories are some of the most cherished I have from my childhood. In the same way, I want my boys to experience a rich, creative life filled with fond memories of our times spent together laughing, talking, and singing.

In my search for fun activities I stumbled across this ingenious creation. With tweaks of our own, we built a great Light Box while spending time together building, laughing-and, as always-singing. What kinds of things are you creating with your family this week?

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I used two shallow, plastic clear containers. The shallower, the better, so the light can reflect closer to the lid. I sprayed the inside of both bins with metallic silver spray paint (Lowe’s). After they dried, I lined the sides with black paper. This helped keep the light from reflecting.

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I used one 18″ fluorescent light – removed the top plastic lid from the light, and duct taped the light to the bottom of the plastic bin. I cut a hole at one end of the bin and pulled the cord through. This allowed the bin to be plugged in an outlet. I read a few other posts about using battery operated lights so it becomes more portable, however, the expense of the batteries was too much and the light was inefficient.

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I used frosted spray paint on the underside of the top lid to help diffuse the light. If you can find a white or frosted lid top for the bin you can skip this step.

Wallah…the Light Box!

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Below are some of the activities we did today…more to come!

Tracing with stencils…

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Finger painting and mixing colors…

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Practice writing the alphabet and numbers:

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Using store-bought materials I spent about $35.00 for one light table, saving over $110.00 on a small 12×9 light table as seen on Amazon.com. 

What do you think?!
 
Try these links for other ideas:
http://playathomemom3.blogspot.com/search/label/Do%20It%20Yourself%20Furniture
http://www.teachpreschool.org/2011/06/diy-light-table-for-preschool/
http://tinkerlab.com/2011/08/easy-diy-light-table/

    ____________________

    Nicole WengerNicole Wenger is the mother of two spunky boys and the wife of her best friend, Chris. She is the founder and director of Science Quest: a science education company which introduces students, parents, and teachers to interactive and affordable science learning. Nicole is the Preschool Director and the Director of Development at The Garden School. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Bridgewater State University and a Master of Science in Environmental Studies/Conservation Biology with an emphasis in Ornithology from Antioch University. You can keep up with Nicole, her family, and their adventures in home education, crafting, birding and loving the outdoors at The Cuckoo’s Nest: http://loveandlearning.typepad.com/love-and-learning/.

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