The APH Light Box was designed to help teach basic visual skills as well as more complex visual-motor and visual-perceptual skills. The high contrast background created by the Light Box’s illuminated surface makes a variety of visual tasks easier to perform. The goal is that using brightly colored items will motivate students to utilize their vision.
The lightbox, available through the American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is used to help develop awareness of light, color, and objects. It can also be used as a tool to facilitate visual tracking, visual scanning, eye-hand coordination, visual discrimination, and visual perceptual skills particularly in students that are interested in light-up objects and sources but will not visually attend to or interact with regularly presented materials.
The Light Box has a translucent white work surface that provides a high contrast background for opaque materials and a source of illumination for colored transparent and translucent items.
The Light Box can be used flat or tilted at 3 different angles.
It has built in ledges that hold overlays in position and keeps most items securely on the work surface.
The cool, fluorescent bulb is housed in a tough, plastic body and does get hot.
Contains a dimmer switch to meet the light intensity needs in all students.
Includes an AC adapter.
The Mini-Lite Box is small and light.
Easy to transport with the built-in handle and can be used in a variety of places including a student’s desk.
Operates for 3-4 hours on rechargeable batteries (included).
Works great with colored, transparent overlays.
Comes with it’s own carrying case.
Use the Light Box in a darkened corner of the room, positioned so that other children will not come in contact with it or its electrical cord.
Examine the Light Box for flickering to guard against seizuring in a seizure-prone student. If a student is seizure-prone, be cautious about presenting items or displays on the Light Box which move in a rhythmic, patterned manner.
If a student is sensitive or averse to light, it may be helpful to introduce the Light Box with overhead lights on.
Use the Light Box in a variety of positions and place the student in a comfortable posture. Present the Light Box at varying distances and areas in relation to the student’s body and watch him to see whether he demonstrates a preference.
When presenting items on the Light Box, put them in different places on the work surface. Note whether the student responds consistently and accurately to the items.
Use the colored acetate sheets and objects and observe whether the student prefers one color over another.
Use words like “look,” “see,” and “find” when presenting items on the Light Box work surface. Encourage the student and describe for him what he is seeing – its shape, size, position, and color.
To transfer a skill learned on the Light Box to a normally lit environment, increase room illumination as you gradually decrease the intensity of the Light Box.
Present a variety of unit related materials in a clear plastic tray positioned over the Light box. Have the student trace with their finger or pour the materials in and out of smaller containers or nesting cups. Possible materials to use on the light box: acetate sheets (clear & transparent colored); colored projection markers; colored grease pencils; finger paints in plastic tray; crayons on thin white paper; three-way mirror; colored cellophane; colored tissue paper; thin, boldly patterned or colored wrapping paper; brightly colored plastic lawn chair strapping; tinsel; plexiglas sample squares; brightly colored or patterned fabric; transparent art film (contact paper); black tape; yarn; colored ribbon; doilies; colored buttons; rickrack; colored or patterned wrapping paper.
Cookie cutters; coasters; Jell-O molds; stencils; wooden blocks; parquetry pieces; clay or play dough; poster board shapes; Lauri Tactilmat puzzles; Ideal Tactilmat puzzles; Familiar objects with simple contours (a cookie, ball, bar of soap, shoe, or spoon); puzzle pieces; window clings.
Colored transparent plastic construction pieces; colored transparent plastic pegs which fit in a pegboard; clear plastic balls with spinning objects inside; bright colored Teether Ball (projections which make it easy to grasp); rainbow transparent party -ware; Halloween masks; make & bake (colored plastic 'stained glass' ornaments made from simple kit); brightly colored translucent or transparent plastic toys (Easter eggs, pop-beads, etc.); balloons; colored pinwheels; small toy cars; wind-up toys; colored plastic clothespins; plastic Halloween pumpkins; Wikki stick.
Light Box Material Kits Levels I,II, II, available through APH helps in teaching matching and identification skills, part-whole relationships, sequencing, pattern duplication, spatial relationships, and visual memory skills. It includes: Plexiglas Spinner and Spinner Patterns, Plexiglas Blocks, Pegs & Pegboard, Familiar Object Pictures, Colored Shapes Cards, Digital Light Box Artwork – that supports both language and literacy. These kits also now have sections of using the Light Box to work with students that have CVI (Cortical Visual Impairment).
Young, dark haired child, sitting on the floor in front of an APH Mini-Light Box.
Playing with a silver, slinky and a woman also sitting on the floor.
1. Word POP – Using bubble wrap, write letters or sight words on each bubble. Instruct the student what to find and when they do they get to POP it! Or, have them POP out their spelling words using letters that have been written on each bubble.
2. Spread out colored sand on the light box, allowing student to “write” in the sand creating sight and/or spelling words. This also works well putting the sand into a clear tub (less mess)!
3. Small colored cups can be used for story play, matching letters or words.
4. Use transparencies to create storyboards.
5. Use small clear jars with brightly colored letters on the front. Students can sort same letter objects by putting them in the correct jar.
6. Use transparencies to create work sheets or coloring pages.
7. Plastic Ziploc bags (doubling them up is always a good idea!) filled with finger paint or hair gel to write letters and words on.
8. Make words and/or stories out of window clings with letters and pictures.
1. Using slime, practice money counting skills by pushing play coins into the slime on the Light Box work surface.
2. Counting game: Draw a circle with a number in the middle, instruct the student to put the same number of objects in that circle. The objects can be anything the child likes or that really show on the Light Box surface.
3. Count water beads. You can even make math equations out of the water beads. 2 + 2 = 4, use 2 water beads plus 2 more to make 4!
4. Matching and/or sorting while counting brightly colored objects and shapes.
5. Use window clings with numbers to identify numbers, and/or create equations and problems to be solved.
6. Make dice out of clear, acrylic cubes and play dice games on the Light Box.
7. Have fun with sand math!
8. Transparent, colored rulers can be used for creating shapes, measuring anything and everything or even roads for tiny cars!
1. Sink or float with colored water and any objects you choose.
2. Learn about planets and constellations. Use a dry erase marker to draw Outer Space!
3. Color Mixing: Use baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, eye droppers and clear containers and experiment with bubbles and changing colors, for example: red and yellow make orange, yellow and blue make green.
1. Magnetic Sensory Bin.
2. Sorting, scooping and pouring water beads.
3. Building with transparent, colored blocks and/or Legos.
4. Blue Jell-O Ocean Sensory Bin – Use blue Jell-O and put ocean animals in a clean bin. Place it on the Light Box work surface for loads of ocean fun!
5. Rainbow Jell-O Jigglers on the Light Box.
6. Finger Paint.
7. Bubbles in a sensory bin.
8. Paint with chocolate pudding.
9. Rainbow rice or spaghetti noodles, dye with food coloring for mushy, gushy fun!
10. Create flowers or a frog pond out of colored, glass stones. And rubber frogs!
11. DIY Paper Dolls made out of different tissue paper colors.
12. Create spider webs out of black Wiki Stiks.
13. Paint using water colors on coffee filters.
14. Autumn leaves are perfect for investigating with a magnifying glass on the Light Box work surface.
15. Build towers, houses or whatever using painted sugar cubes.
16. Washi Tape Art – Find the clear with different colored patterns.
17. Weaving colored straws – Excellent activity for developing fine motor skills.
18. Create Light Box tiles with popsicle sticks and cellophane.
19. Create sensory bags using oil and watercolors in a Ziploc bag (doubled).
20. Glow-in-the-Dark Silly Putty.
Students with visual impairments really can learn to use their residual vision more efficiently by training, working and playing with APH's Light Box. The only limitation is yours and their imagination. The sky’s the limit for materials and activities that are perfect for working 1:1 or in a small group. Students will have a blast playing AND learning while using this amazing tool.
The most important thing to remember is to: HAVE FUN!!!