Light Exploration

The exploration of light, translucency, and shadow is facinating to children. Perfect for discovery and science centers, light tables capture attention, inspire inquiry, and give children opportunity to explore one of nature’s elements first hand. Experimentation with light invites learning about color, pattern, composition, and form. Change and transformation are subjects central to science curricula and are understood by even the youngest learners with tools and materials designed to explore light and shadow.




Featured Highlights

Below you will find Kodo’s robust assortment of light accessories along with the most advanced light tables in the industry. Full color Light Panels and child-focused controllers make Kodo’s light tables an obvious choice!

Light Laboratory

Unlike any other, Kodo’s Light Lab and collection of accessories are designed to engage children in the exploration of light. A removable light panel and abundant play accessories, make the Light Lab just that, a laboratory for experimentation. With years in development the Light Lab is an essential part of every classroom.

Spectrum Light Lab

Designed for higher traffic areas where multiple children will play at once, the Spectrum Light Lab is perfect for libraries, small museums, or common spaces in schools. Shelving and lockable doors provide storage options and both color and white light panels offer children plenty of work space.


Translucent building blocks, rainbow colored pegs, tactile sensory beads, and more are sure to capture attention and spark investigation with Kodo’s Light Labs or your own classroom light tables.

“The Kodo light table has been a wonderful addition to our play based 4K program. We rotate materials on the light table according to the children’s interests. During the winter months the children learned how to trace snowflake shapes using the light table. We have our light table in an area of the room that allows for small groups of children to have quality interactions with each other.”

Kristin Pape
Teacher, Eagle’s Wing Child Care

About the Play

What are the benefits of play with light?

Exploring light as a material enhances sensory play, supports preschool and elementary science curricula, and supports pre-literacy, drawing, writing, and math skills in highly engaging ways. As children explore they increase their attention spans, communicate with peers, work fine motor muscles, and practice hand-to-eye coordination skills.

What's so special about colored light?

Mixing colored light differs from mixing colored paint pigments. What happens when you mix paint? Red and Blue, Red absorbs everything but red, and Blue absorbs everything but blue. The result? Purple, half the compound reflects blue the other half reflects red, the wavelengths combine so you see purple. But it is a dark purple. Now add green. What color is that? A really dark blah. Every color is being absorbed and getting closer to black. One word, Absorption. Now do this with light. Turn on Red, then add Blue. Bam, Purple! and it’s a bright purple! Now add Green. It gets even lighter and goes to white! No absorption, just more color emitted. Absorbing the different colors of light leads to black, while emitting or adding more colors leads to white. Simple in hindsight, but fundamental in thinking about how to implement this in your classroom.

How do I incorporate experiences with light in my classroom?

Whether you have just a few durable flashlights, a Kodo Light Laboratory, or Sand Tray Light Panel, it’s easy to incorporate experiences with light into your classroom. Use Kodo’s equipment with acrylic blocks for construction experiences, with Glass Crayons for art and writing skill practice, or with accessories such as x-rays in your science and discovery center. Children are facinated by light tables in general and you can use the lit surfaces for small group activities, free play, or for direct instruction.

How does play with the Light Laboratory support my curriculum?

Overall the Light Laboratory supports the objective of supporting children to think scientifically, make observations, inquire, seek answers, and actively investigate the world. Additionally, play with light can support investigations of light and shadow, sillouette, color mixing, rainbows, the sun and sky, natural and manmade light, transparency, and transformation. Look to your curriculum for the inclusion of Light within the natural sciences.

What are some ways children typically use and learn with the Light lab?

Protect the Light Panel with the clear Drawing Board and use the surface for construction opportunities using transparent builders. Use the Drawing Board with Glass Crayons (sold separately) for letter, number, shape, tracing, and drawing experiences. Due to the ability to mix colors by turning the color control knobs children will practice early addition and subtraction operations as they increase or decrease colors by degrees. The Marble Board is perfect for counting, ordering, patterning, and designing shapes. We could go on and on with examples and are certain that once adults in your program become accustomed to observing children’s experiences with light, assessing their development of scientific, mathematical, engineering, and artisitc skills will become second nature. Look to your curriculum for the inclusion of Light within the natural sciences.

What children's books are recommended to support the exploration of light?

Oscar and the Moth: A Book About Light and Dark by Geoff Waring Moonbear’s Shadow by Frank Asch Light: Shadows, Mirrors, and Rainbows by Natalie M. Rosinsky Light Is All Around Us by Wendy Pfeffer Who was Thomas Alva Edison by Margaret Frith Light and Color by Peter D. Riley

About the Product

Where/how is the Light Laboratory and light accessories stored?

Kodo’s Light Laboratory was specifcally designed to be used in a classroom science and discovery center, STEM lab, or community space. It’s also perfect on its own as a specialized learning center. Place the Light Laboratory near an electrical outlet and away from direct sunlight if possible. Each of the accessories stores neatly in the storage pod, designed to keep materials within easy reach.

Is the Light Lab portable?

Kodo’s color Light Lab Panel comes with your Light Laboratory but is also sold individually. This unit is portable and can be moved from space to space with minimal effort. The entire Light Laboratory can also be moved as space and interests change over time. We recommend that adults remove all the accessories, move the pod, and then return the accesories to their stored positions.

How do children change the colors?

Three control knobs on the Light Lab Panel allow children to mix myriad colors themselves. By turning the knobs they add or subtract degrees of three colors, unlike other light panels which have a predetermined set number of colors and no options for mixing.

Why is the light table round?

The circle represents community and our greatest natural light source, the sun. The circular design affords easy access to the center of the panel and lets children move around it freely without bumping into corners.

Can I order individuals pieces over time?


How long will the lights last?

The Ligt Lab Panel features a super bright LED array and has a 10,000 hour bulb life.

Will the light table surface scratch?

We’ve included a screen protector with each Light Lab Panel to protect the panel surface. The screen protector will scratch over time due to normal use and additional screen protectors are available for purchase.