Light Learning: Numbers

Appeal to the senses while counting and creating simple equations!

For students with fidgety fingers, these squishy numbers and math signs make math tactile. The small disc inside each number allows students to develop fine motor skills. Children will quickly learn how to propel the disc by tapping the number in different areas. We have chosen specific colors so students can represent the visible spectrum of light by lining up the numbers from zero, black (the absence of all light) through red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Tip: All the math signs are red with sparkles!

Develop fine motor skills! Ask students to move the small discs all the way around a number. 0 and 1 are great for beginners, while 4 and 5 will challenge older students.

Make glowing equations! Use a light table or Roylco’s R59601 Light Cube to practice counting, using the < and > to demonstrate value differences, and basic math facts. Purchase a second pack to make really long equations!

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Light Learning: Uppercase Letters

Make literacy visual and tactile with these colorful, squishy letters! They are perfect for light table play!

Appeal to the senses while learning the alphabet and spelling simple words! For students with fidgety fingers, these squishy letters make learning language tactile. The small disc inside each letter allows students to develop fine motor skills. Children will quickly learn how to propel the disc by tapping the letter in different areas. We have doubled up on commonly used letters (A, D, E, H, I, L, N, O, R, S, T, U).  All the vowels are red!

Develop fine motor skills! Ask students to move the small discs all the way around a letter. O’s and I’s are great for beginners, while Q, H and K are great to challenge older students.

Make glowing words! Use a light table or Roylco’s R59601 Light Cube to spell out student’s names, sight words, vocabulary words or pets’ names. Play with colors! Layer letters on top of one another to make new color combinations. This is a great activity for light table play.  For very young light learners these letters are fun to sort by color!

No light table? no problem! A small amount of water on one side of the letters makes them stick to the window. Take advantage of a sunny day and a big window to create a new way to play with light and language!

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Light Cube: Shell X-Rays

Observe transparencies of x-rays to see cool images! Our R5913 Shell X-Rays & Picture Cards work great with the Educational Light Cube.

The Shell X-Rays and Picture Cards give you two cards per shell. One is an x-ray to see the inner details of each shell while the other is a picture card to show the shell in reality. This kit presents great value as it does not solely have to be used with a light table… although it works well with our Light Cube!

John placed the cards onto the table to see how the insides of the shells look like.

It was a nice exercise to compare and contrast the picture cards with their matching x-rays. We asked John to find the matching pairs, which was a good exercise in making connections with visual cues.

Does that one fit? John used the guide provided with the picture cards to learn more about the type of shell in each card.

There are 36 cards and x-rays in total and a detailed guide with information about each of the shells. It’s a great resource for enriching your science lessons!

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Light Cube: Light and Bubbles

To make your messier projects easy to contain on the R59601 Educational Light Cube, we’ve developed a tray that fits perfectly on top of the Light Cube. The tray is available in our R59602 Educational Light Cube Accessory Pack.

First, place the tray directly onto the top of the Light Cube. The clear plastic design will allow the light to show through clearly, while making it easy to keep the cube clean! We mixed up a simple bubble solution with 2 parts water to 1 part dish soap. We poured the resulting mixture into a shallow bowl. You can use something similar to the lid of a jar for the shallow bowl. Pick a cool bubble wand that you’d like to use to form your bubbles and dip it evenly into the shallow bowl.

Ciara gently blew through the wand to create a mini bubble on the tray. You can compound various bubbles onto the tray and build a mini bubble tower!

Ciara continued to build on the tray with little bubble ‘blocks’! This is a great exercise in focused preschool play, as children challenge themselves to blow bigger bubbles or to fill the tray with bubbles.

How big can you make the bubbles? As big as you want!

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Light Cube: Floating Density Experiment

Explore the densities of various objects using bubbly soda water and a few clear glasses on the Light Cube!

Pour a bit of club soda into a clear glass. In the second glass, pour some water. The carbonated fizz or bubbles in the soda will start to lift and dance around inside of the glass. Ask students to consider why the carbon rises up and out of the glass.

We asked our friend Malak to observe the bubbly fizz and the glass of water and try and guess what will happen if she dropped a toothpick into each glass. She guessed that the toothpick would sink in the glass with water, and rise in the glass with soda.

As you can see, the toothpick floats midway up the glass of water. Interesting! Why is this so? Malak asked if this had something to do with the wood of the toothpick… perhaps it floats like a log in water? We moved on to test her hypothesis of whether or not the toothpick would float in the glass with soda.

This time we dropped the toothpick into the glass of soda and observed that it proceeded to float just like the toothpick in water.

We tried the hypothesizing and experimenting again with other found items such as buttons, beads and erasers.

Ooh! Now we have a surprise. We guessed that the Fancy Stringing Ring we dropped into the glass with water would float. It floated when we dropped it into the glass with soda. But why did it sink to the bottom? These are great questions to be asking your students as you develop new theories on why some items float why others do not.

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Light Cube: Colorful Block Combinations

We’ve established many times that working with blocks on the Light Cube is a great way to engage students who love to build–it helps to focus their attention with beautiful light and color combinations!

These blocks were found at our local toy store but we found them to work amazingly well with the Light Cube. We set the glow to a soft white and placed the blocks on top.

We asked our friend Stephano to arrange the blocks into the tallest tower he could manage to make on top of the Light Cube.

Since the blocks are rectangular, they can only be stacked together in an intertwined pattern like Jenga blocks!

We showed Stephano how to interlock the pieces together. As he gradually stacked upwards, he started to turn the blocks in different angles, which produced a slightly different tower than the one we envisioned.

Here is the tower all finished! Look at that amazing lean… what will happen when Stephano plays a round of Jenga?

He decided not to ruin his tower, as it was accomplished with a neat new building pattern! When have you seen a Jenga tower look so sculptural?

…But we dared Stephano to try removing one block anyway and he settled for selecting one from the top. The whole top half went crashing down! “That’s okay,” Stephano told us, “I’ll build it up again!”

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Light Cube: How to make a light show with clear colorful cups!

We’ve done a post on stacking colorful cups on top of the Light Cube. But what if you combined a variety of different colorful cups together in all shapes and sizes to create a beautiful sculpture… AND a light show?

Stacking multiple cups together will intensify their colors on the Light Cube. You can find these cups at your local dollar or department store. Look for discount camping or patio sets for the clear plastic kinds. The colors of the clear cups will show up more clearly on the Light Cube.

We asked our friend Sierra to take the cup piles apart and stack them to make a tall building.

She found that by inverting the direction of the cups, she was able to build one on top of the other securely without it falling apart.

Look at how tall Sierra built the cups!

The next challenge was to take another set of cups and figure out a way to stack them upwards. The way we have these martini glasses stacked up–without the bases–make it impossible to build them into a tall tower.

Once we added the bases to the cups, Sierra was able to build them up without a problem.

There’s more than enough space on the Light Cube to combine multiple cups together. Sierra got the idea to use the margarita glasses as the bases for her structure.

She used the regular cups and stacked them, inverted, onto the margarita glasses.

Look at that concentration! Sierra was so careful not to let anything lean or fall over.

Sierra was amazed with the light effects. Look at how the blue stem of the margarita glass combines with the pinky red of the margarita glass behind it to make a purplish hue. This is just one example of how the Light Cube enhances the combinations of different materials, such as these cups!

This is the final structure that Sierra built! Isn’t it beautiful?

What kinds of structures can your students build on their light tables?

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Light Cube: There’s a man on the moon… sand!

Moon sand is a great tool for playing with on the Light Cube. Place it inside a snugly fitting Light Cube tray to keep it from spilling over the sides.

Using our little vials, we asked our friend Ciara to pack the sand into little columns. How long could she get the columns to stand before they slide apart?

Ciara decided to mold a little snowman out of the moon sand. It actually held really well together, so she added some straws to form the snowman’s arms.

All done and still standing! The rest of the moon sand looked a lot like snow on the ground being illuminated by the Light Cube underneath.

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Light Cube: How to Make Math Interesting!

The Light Cube is a great medium for learning math lessons! Instead of the same old boring tabletop math activity, take it one step further with light-enhanced materials.

Everything looks better with light, that’s why we’ve made our math lessons extra-special on the Light Cube!

We brought an older student, John, in to see the Light Cube for the first time. Before turning it on, however, we told him that he would be going through some math exercises. John immediately looked at us like he didn’t want to have anything to do with math! But as soon as we turned the Light Cube on, his expression completely changed, and we grabbed a great photo of his reaction!

So, we got started! We placed a few clear color cups and garden rocks we picked up at the Dollar Store onto the Light Cube. John was entranced by the way the light shone through the clear cups, but the rocks completely blocked out the light, meaning that they are opaque. It was great to talk about the differences between items, to learn about transparent or semi-transparent versus opaque objects… and a great boost to children’s vocabulary!

We placed clear numbers and operations onto the table. Above, we organized the number sentence to say 11 – 5 = ? We asked John to take 11 garden stones, then remove 5 from the main pile to a separate pile and count the remainder.

To complicate the activity a little bit, we decided to incorporate the clear color cups. We separated the stones into 4 piles, starting with 1 stone in the first pile, 2 stones in the second pile and so on. John secured each of the piles separately by placing the clear color cups on top.

Once we posed a number sentence to John, he immediately redistributed the stones inside each cup to match the given numbers. He compiled the final amount of stones into a single cup. We counted and found his answer to be correct: the number 8!

What’s the answer to this one? By this point, it was pretty easy for John to figure out. We had a lot more fun than we’d thought learning math on the Light Cube… because it puts things in a whole new light!

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