Without a doubt, the most common question I am asked is, where can I buy a light panel? Tonight I thought I would do a bit of a search and find some online stockists for you.
I bought our light panel from Modern Teaching Aids when Jack was two. We’ve had it for nearly five years and it’s still going strong.
Light panels are definitely an investment item; they can be expensive. For me, buying an expensive item always comes with a risk; will we get value for money from this item? How do I see the item being used? I think this last question is really important. We can fill our homes with toys, materials and art supplies, but if our image of children – how they play, explore and learn – doesn’t align with the potential of these materials, then we won’t get value for money.
Our light panel is an A2 LED TickIT light panel. They also come in A3 size which cost less but you lose some of the potential play with the smaller size (it would suit one child, two might be a bit squashy).
Here are some Australian Stockists. Each link will open in a new window so you can compare prices and shipping.
I also came across these great new colour-changing light panels. They are also from TickIT so I think we can trust the quality:
This YouTube video shows the colour-changing light panel in action.
- Early Years Direct
- Early Years Direct (colour-changing light panel)
- Sensory Education (colour-changing light panel)
Surprisingly, I had a little difficulty finding US stockists. Usually, they are the first I find. I did eventually find these ones:
- Lakeshore Learning
- Lakeshore Learning (colour-changing light panel)
- Constructive Playthings (this one looks like an A3 size – and on sale at the moment)
- Amazon (this one also looks like an A3 size)
Our light panel has proved to be a very worthwhile investment. Jack and Sarah use it almost every day. They use it freely with translucent blocks and shapes as well as with different art materials (liquid watercolours and tracing paper are a favourite at the moment). I have a clear piece of thick plastic over ours to protect it from spills.
Here are some of the other ways we use our light panel:
practising letters and words in salt
writing numerals in salt and glass gems
exploring shapes and patterns with coloured triangles
drawing with OHT pens (non-permanent, fine-tipped pens)
Tinkering with electronics
exploring the changing colours of leaves
practising letters with translucent pattern blocks
Playing with translucent blocks
colour paddles | colour shapesExploring old slides
Playing with water beads
A few stockists for you and lots of ideas for using your new light panel. 🙂 Jack and Sarah are almost 7 and 5 years old now and, like I said, still use the light panel most days. I can see a good few more years use out of it yet.
Sometimes I’ll set up materials like the salt tray and letter cards, other times I’ll leave it empty so the kids can take their work over and use the light panel how they like.
It’s important to have the light panel out and accessible. Place it somewhere in the room where your children can play and explore freely. Pop a plastic cover over the top so you can offer sensory materials like water beads, shaving cream (add some pipettes and small jars of liquid watercolours for some awesome colour-mixing), slime, goop (oobleck), gelli-baff, coloured and plain salt … that kind of thing.
If you make the light panel accessible and protect it from misuse, you’ll feel more relaxed about the children making messes as they paint on, play and explore this really awesome tool.
I’m hoping to write a few more FAQ posts so if you have any questions, please feel free to ask them in the comments.