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DIY Light-Box

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If you’re considering buying a light-box, my advice is don’t – make one instead as you probably already own all of the resources needed! For the longest time, I really wanted a light-box to enhance the children’s play, but I couldn’t justify the price. This activity (excluding the table) was under £10 to make – versus £30 for a store bought version – and took less than a minute to set up. Read on to find out how…

coloured shapes on the DIY light-box

You will need:

I’ve listed the exact materials that we used for the DIY light-box below. They were items that we already owned and nothing was actually bought specifically for this project so chances are, you already own very similar items to these:

  • Trosfast tray – IKEA (approx £2)
  • Trosfast lid – IKEA (approx £1.50)
  • LED fairy lights – Flying Tiger (approx £4)


  • LED fairy lights
  • large plastic storage container with lid

We placed our DIY light box in the IKEA Flisat table which is a great purchase for so many variants of sensory play – yet it is not absolutely crucial for this activity.

What to do:

This will literally take seconds to set up: simply place the fairy lights into the tray, switch them on and then cover with the lid! If you need the light to be brighter, try adding another string of fairy lights.

how the light-box is set up
lights reflecting in the window

Z (3.10) spent a long time at the DIY light table – she made symmetrical patterns, explored colours with the sensory blocks and also checked out the reflections made in the window. After a while, little bro (18 months) joined her…

One thing that is really important to note, this activity needs to be done under strict supervision, especially if the battery packs can be accessed easily. With my own children, I have been doing the activity early on in the evening when it gets dark, then removing the lights from the tray once they have finished.

If you want more activity ideas for the DIY light-box you can check them out here.

Like it? Pin it!

Are you on Pinterest? I’ve made this handy graphic so that you can pin the idea – why not follow me whilst you’re there too?

light-box image for pinterest
Sian Thomas

Sian Thomas

Sian is the founder of Teach Investigate Play. She helps parents navigate the early years by providing meaningful and simple activities. She also owns 'Get Set Social Media' - a social media consultancy for small businesses. From the UK, now living in Vienna (via Australia). About page has more!

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