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Sensory light box

What you need

  • A large cardboard box (big enough for your child to crawl in/baby to be laid down inside)
  • Fairy lights or a torch
  • Coloured paper/scarves (optional)


Sensory experiences capture the interest of babies and young children, helping them to engage for longer periods of time and capturing their imagination. It also helps develop their language, as they want to communicate about what they are experiencing! For older children this can also be a fun physical experience too!

The experience

You will need to tip the box on its side, so that your child can crawl into it (or lay down), being able to look up at the ‘roof’ of the box. You will need to make some holes in the top of the box, that your lights will shine through. 

Using a torch or phone flashlight you can shine through the holes, creating light and shadow for your child to explore. You can create the holes into different shapes for added interest. 

If you have some fairy lights, you could tape these to the top of the box, shining through the holes. 

You can extend this further and experiment by sticking pieces of coloured paper over the holes you have created, to see if you can create a colourful light show! Or perhaps some thin scarves or fabric in different colours could be placed over the top to provide a similar effect. 

Babies will enjoy laying down and watching the different light patterns, beginning to anticipate them and showing excitement when they appear. This will also encourage them to reach for the light, stretching out. 

For active toddlers, who are very mobile, turn it into a fun game, where they have to try and reach the light, using their hands or even feet!