Fibre Optic Sensory Cave!

Create a wonderful sensory experience for young children using glowing lights in the dark!

We love turning cardboard boxes into fun places to play as they are free and can be turned into anything! They also make great tunnels, dens and caves. A while ago we used a long box to create a dark area for exploring with glow sticks and torches. 
This time we did something similar by creating a dark cave and inserting fibre optic lights through the roof for a wonderful, sensory-rich experience for both the big girls and even baby too!
I bought 3 of these easy function fibre optic lights from eBay, for just 99p each. They are operated by a simple button that changes the colour of the light each time it is pressed. The final option is for the lights to cycle continuously which the girls absolutely LOVE! These are great for early ICT skills and promote lots of thinking and discussion about how exactly they work.
I lined 2 sides of the inside of a large cardboard box with tin foil to create a reflective surface. Then I punctured 3 holes in the top of the box using scissors and turned the lights up-side-down and poked them through. 

 Then they took turns to lie inside the “cave”, looking at the amazing glow that filled the dark space (hard to show how dark it was with these pictures!) The other child would stand outside and push the buttons to change the colours, putting on a real light show inside!

 We put a sheepskin rug inside and laid baby Bean in there for a short while so that she could enjoy the lights too. She was mesmerised!

We talked about co-ordinating all the lights to be on the same colour at once and when we did that the cave would glow accordingly and was very effective!

 Cakie loved playing with the lights out of the box too and arranged them, took them apart and quickly found there was a torch shining different coloured lights from the centre. (This was all very safe, don’t worry!)

 They then explored the coloured light shadows and patterns they could create on the dark walls and floors!

Learning Links:
  • ICT: operating equipment with simple functions, exploring how things work and the effects they can create
  • Knowledge and Understanding: light and dark, shadows, torches, using simple tools/ equipment
  • Sensory: explore the world using all of the senses, talk about what they can see and how it makes them feel
Cakie: 3.9
Pop: 2.3
Bean: 18 weeks


  1. says

    I love this idea and intend to pinch it when my Bean is born. Any other ideas for things to do with tiny babies?

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    This is absolutely brilliant :), my 6 month old loves the sensory rooms at the children centres and now I can give him a taste of it at home. Ive only just stumbled on your website today but I can see me following it constantly. Thank you so much, as a mum that has just gone back to work its great that I can get ideas that are quick and easy to make the time we have together even more speacial.

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