SENSORY EDUCATION THROUGH THE LIGHT
Have you ever heard of light tables for children?
Light tables attract and amuse children, preparing them for sensorial learning. Light is something that attracts both children and adults naturally. Toys that emit light and make noises are the ones that most often attract children’s attention.
WHAT IS A LIGHT TABLE AND WHAT IS ITS ORIGIN?
Light tables have a surface luminous surface, some only white and some can change into different colours. The Reggio Emilia method was pioneer in using light to stimulate children’s senses and to learn through play, experimenting with different materials. In the Reggio Emilia educational approach, the child is the protagonist and is valued as strong, capable and resistant. Each child has a deep curiosity that, combined with his potential, drives his interest in understanding the world and everything around him and his place in the world. This approach helps children develop the ability to create their own learning through imagination, curiosity, and motivation. Light tables not only serve as a play element, but is also a means of learning.
BENEFITS OF THE LIGHT TABLE
We have already commented that the light table, in essence, is a great learning tool and that it also encourages creativity and experimentation. These are some of the benefits that the light table can bring to children:
• It promotes attention and concentration: The brightness of both the table and the materials that we provide children to play with (we recommend that they be translucent) makes children more attentive to the activity they are developing.
• Increases curiosity: Inevitably the light attracts a lot of attention and causes amazement in children and this makes it easier to assimilate the content.
• It favours relaxation: And therefore they enjoy playing and learning more.
• Stimulates the senses: Experimenting in many ways with light and colour. The handling of any game object on the light table will convey totally different visual sensations. Imagine a figure made of translucent colours, its figure will not stand out the same on a light table as on a wooden table
• Chromatic experiments: On the light table you can experiment with the theory of colours by mixing the primary colours to obtain the secondary colours with Henbea’s Giant Colour Filters.
• Encourages free play and imagination.
• Promotes academic learning: Mathematics, science, literacy activities, reaching another dimension full of colour.
MATERIALS FOR THE LIGHT TABLE
Once we know how advantageous it is to play with light tables, we must also know what are the best materials for each age that can be used on it so that children are motivated to play and investigate.
We are going to talk about some of them:
• Giant optical wheel: This wheel performs incredible optical illusions as well as visual effects and colour mixtures that will leave adults and children with their mouths open.
• Translucent letters: Henbea has both lowercase and uppercase letters to trace and to use as templates or paint over or trace around. The children will get to know the alphabet in a fun and entertaining way.
• Translucent Numbers: To learn the numbers, their sequence andtheir correspondent quantities with colour counters!
• 2D and 3D GEO Shapes: They are fun translucent templates in different colours and shapes so that children can get to know them and learn to use them.
• Translucent templates of people and farm animals: With them they will be able to use them as puzzles, for painting and for tracing on the light table.
• Montessori Leaf Silhouettes: A fun way to learn the name of leaves by tracing them and matching them with their natural environment. Includes 6 types of leaves: oak, maple, beech, olive, linden and chestnut.
There are many more materials that at Henbea we have available to guarantee learning and fun for boys and girls.