by Bryn Huntpalmer, Guest Contributor

Via Life As Mama There are so many fun ways to teach your child the fundamentals of light including its source, the way it reflects or “bends,” and its ability to create colors and shadows in the world around us. In addition, having a basic understanding of light can provide your child with the tools to be successful at math, art, and writing and to understanding their natural environment. Here are five fun lighting projects to do with your kids this summer while school is out and the sun is high! Build a Kaleidoscope A kaleidoscope can be a fun toy for your children that shows them beautiful images, but it can also teach them how light reflects, as well as educating them about angles–great for early geometry lessons. A lot of DIY kaleidoscopes call for cutting glass. This tutorial is more simple and child-friendly, but no less educational or fun! Via Babble Dabble Do Use a Light Table A light table is a translucent surface illuminated from behind. It can help create high contrast for items that your child views on it. Teach Preschool has an excellent blog on the many educational ways you can use a light table including shape and number recognition, learning about magnification and prisms, exploring colors, and honing fine motor skills. Here is a step-by-step tutorial for creating your own light table for under $20. Via The Imagination Tree Check out these 10 free or lost cost activities that you can do with your child using a light table. Make a Sundial A sundial works by casting a shadow in different positions at different times of the day. Your children can learn how the sun is highest at midday–and consequently cast a shorter shadow. They can also learn how shadows are affected by the change of seasons, winter shadows being longer than summer shadows because the sun is lower in the sky. A sundial can also teach your children to tell time. Combine a great educational lesson with a little gardening by creating a sunflower sundial. Via Nurture Store Create Your Own Rainbow This is such an easy way to explore rainbows and reflections! With just a cd, flashlight, and blank piece of white paper you can create your own indoor rainbow. This tutorial from Buggy and Buddy also includes questions to help guide the lesson with your child. Via Buggy and Buddy Explore Your Natural Environment at Night Kids (and probably more adults than are willing to admit) tend to be afraid of the dark. Why? Because they can’t see what is going on! Demystify the dark and explore the plant and animal life in your backyard with these DIY firefly lamps. They might just keep your kids outside exploring–and getting fresh air–instead of attached to a screen! Via Apartment Therapy After you do these projects with your kids, try this fun quiz that will test their light knowledge.  This quiz forced me to remember some facts and concepts that I haven’t thought about since elementary school so I was quite relieved to get an A! For other ideas and inspiration, head to