A few months ago we had a light painting program for 3rd-5th graders. This can be done with a light painting app and an iPad. The app we used was the ‘LongExpo Pro’ app made by EyeTap Soft ($0.99). The app settings should be set to “B Shutter” and “Light Trail”, as this will allow the most light in and make the pictures more vibrant. You will also need to adjust the iPad settings to allow the app to access your photos. Once everyone is ready, it’s time to turn off the lights.
We used laser finger lights for the light source, but you can also use a flashlight. Kids were paired into groups of two, so that one could operate the iPad’s camera and the other one could use the laser fingers to create a design. When the child with the light source gives the okay, the other child pushes the button on the iPad to start the “picture”. Then the child with the light source begins moving the light around, which can be in a pattern or not. After several seconds or more, the child with the light source tells their partner to hit stop. Voila! The light painting has been done. We hosted this program for 45 minutes, with 10 minutes allotted at the end for the kids to share their favorite light painting photos with the whole group. This was a fun and extremely easy program to run, and also very inexpensive if you already have tablets or devices to download the apps to.
The laser fingers were a novelty to the kids, and none of them had ever used them before. While the kids enjoyed them, it did slow things down when the rubber bands became disconnected from the lasers. Some kids were able to reattach the lasers to the rubber bands, but others had trouble and needed our help to do so. If you decide to purchase laser finger lights, I would recommend buying the ones with velcro rather than rubber bands. They are more expensive, but they’re worth it in the long run because they stay in place!