5 Kids Light Table Accessories to Buy or DIY

There are so many ways to use a light table! Kids light table products exist for every budget, and DIYers can easily make their own accessories with minimal cost and effort. Here are five of our favorite light table STEM investigations that are easy to source or create yourself. These work on any light table, though we recommend the Kodo Light Lab!

Blog Image Dollar Store

$1 Children’s Light Table Accessories

So many materials can be found at the dollar store, and for $1 a piece it’s hard to argue that any budget-friendlier light table accessories exist! We explored our local store and found feathers, shells, confetti, and a cool elastic tube. We then used petri dishes, also found at the dollar store, to contain the items and create different material “lenses”. Children enjoy comparing how the materials react differently from each other and hypothesizing which properties of materials lead to which kinds of light and color reactions.

Blog Image messy materials

Messy Tray

Every Kodo Light Lab includes a Messy Materials Tray that secures in place for sensory explorations and messy investigations. The tray can be filled with sand, seeds, and other materials that cover the light. Then, children can reveal patterns and images by manipulating the sensory materials. We also recommend mixing other objects with the sensory tray – add marbles and blocks for dimension! To DIY your own sensory tray for your light table, you can use a clear plastic serving dish or large Tupperware. Take care – without a way to secure a DIY messy tray to your light table, you may find yourself with a tray upside-down on the floor, its contents dumped out with it. The Messy Materials Tray that comes with the Kodo Light Lab fixes in place to prevent this problem and to keep the messiness contained.

Blog Image Flowers

Nature Exploration

This is a fun light table accessory to gather with your children! Lead them to an appropriate place where they can collect leaves, flower petals, grasses, and whatever natural materials their hearts desire and bring back the findings to your light table. Then, let your children take time to observe the materials as their colors change – suddenly, veins and other plant features are visible, and children can identify properties of plants that allow light to shine through, be blocked, change color, and more.

Blog Image Laminate


Laminates are a very fun and easy way to create long lasting, durable kids light table accessories. If you have access to a laminator, nearly any flat, thin material can become a permanent light table accessory in your classroom. Cellophane, which on its own can tear easily and crumple, can be cut into shapes, flattened and made sturdier with some strategic lamination. Dried leaves, flower petals, tissue paper, and other items can also easily be preserved by lamination for use at your kids light table center.

Blog Image Marbles

Marble Board

Finally, the Marble Board is one of our favorite ways to observe color mixing. Different colored marbles react differently to the changes in light table colors. Watch the blues dim and the reds pop as the light table changes to a red glow. Watch shades of green go from evergreen to turquoise as the amount of blue is increased. The Marble Board is an amazing way to compare and contrast how colors react differently when mixed.
What else do you use on your kids light table? Share with us by leaving a comment below!

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