Lite-Brite: A Classic Light Toy with New Models
Give the Gift of Light, Color, and Creativity to a Child
A bright Lite-Brite was my night light when I was little and today, four-plus decades later, is a favorite of some of the newest littles in our family.
Developed by Hasbro in 1967, Lite Brite....
... or is it "Light Bright"? And to hyphenate or not to hyphenate? Okay, I looked it up on the manufacturer's website to be sure: It's Lite-Brite WITH the hyphen.
Lite Brite has been a colorful favorite for more than forty years. It was one of my most used toys when I was a child, especially at night when I'd turn out the light in my room, get in bed, and create glowing designs that kept the darkness at bay until I'd fall asleep.
Nowadays, in addition to the classic flat screen Lite-Brite, there's a cube option, a travel-sized version, and many more refill themes to choose from. And lots of kids enjoy the blank black sheets, so they can use their imagination to create scenes of their own design. Those were always my favorite.
As well as being pretty and fun and a good substitute for a night light, Lite-Brite designs are a great learning tool, teaching children eye-hand coordination, colors and how to match them to their first letters, the names of objects and animals, the alphabet, and more.
See below for some of the options and also an online Lite-Brite simulator.
Did You (Or DO You) Ever Play With A Lite-Brite? This is an 80s version of the set....
Did you have or play with a Lite-Brite when you were a kid (a little one or a big one)?
A Lite-Brite Commercial from the 1970s
I was just 3 years old when this commercial came out, but I remember singing along with this little jingle and singing it as I pushed the little translucent pegs into the holes.
Fast Forward Four Decades: The Newest Version of the Classic Lite-Bright
More Modern but Still the Same Great Toy
This cordless, flat screen console comes with more than 200 colored pegs, 8 design-picture sheets, 2 free-form sheets, a lightbulb (of course) and instructions (not that you really need them).
You simply place a design template on the screen and press the pegs into it, then turn on the screen and tah-dah! You've got a colorful light-up creation. (I used to cheat sometimes and turn the light on WHILE I was placing the pegs.)
There's an automatic shut-off feature, which conserves battery power. This model also has a convenient storage tray to hold all the pegs.
The classic Lite-Brite also comes in white and red.
This toy requires three "D" batteries, which are not included.
A Lite-Brite Cube
They didn't have these when I was a kid!
This is a new twist on the original light-up picture maker. The cube has four sides (of course), which means more than one child can play at a time.
I bought one of these for my niece ... so I could play with it, too!
With over 500 pegs in all, including the all-new power pegs (multiple, already attached pegs), children can let their imaginations run wild. This version of the Lite-Brite includes two storage drawers to hold all the pegs, eight design pictures, two free-form sheets, a carry handle and, of course, a light bulb.
A Travel-Size Lite-Brite
A Little Light Toy for On The Go
Take this portable model on long car trips, airline flights, and anywhere else you and your little one might have to sit and wait around for a stretch, like the doctor's office for one. Of course, you can let your child play with it, too.
The console comes with 120 colored pegs and a bulb. It requires two C batteries and is available in three different colors.
One of History's Best Toys
TIME Magazine has included the Lite-Brite in its list of
Refills: Pegs, Patterns and Blanks
Since the toy was developed in 1967, there have been many different refill papers created, including Darth Vader, Mr. Potato Head and My Little Pony to name just a few. And there are all sorts of themed refills to choose from, not to mention the glossy blank sheets that allow your little one and you to create an infinite number of pictures and designs.
Here are a handful of the many refill options available now.
Lions, Tigers, Bears ... Oh My!
What kid (of any age) doesn't love wild animals? This one includes an elephant, a flamingo, giraffe, frog, ostrich, tiger, toucan, monkey and two blank sheets for children to bring their own imaginations to light.
It's the greatest show on earth, now in Lite Brite form. This refill package contains 13 fun circus designs plus a couple of blanks. There's a ringleader, two clowns, an elephant, acrobats, a circus wagon, a fortune teller, a human cannonball, a lion tamer, a seal, strongman, a trapeze artist and a big top.
My four-year-old nephew knows dinosaurs much better than I do and can rattle off many of these names. The colorful dinosaurs you'll find in this set are the Brachiosaurus, Dimorphodon, Gallimimus, Polacanthus, Protoceratops, Quetzalcoatlus, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Tyranosaurus Rex and Triceratops.
Alphabet (Light) Soup
This refill set includes all letters A-Z, with simple designs for younger Lite-Briters. This is a fun, interactive and pretty way for kids to learn their ABCs.
Things That Go....
These refill pages include an airliner, jeep, rescue helicopter, motorcycle, sailing ship, tractor trailer, stock car, locomotive, and two blank sheets to create original designs.
Or Go for the Basics: Colored Light Pegs and Blank Paper
You can always pick up a package of blank design sheets of glossy black paper, which is great for creative freedom. The sheets have little plus signs to mark where pegs go, which is basically anywhere the light will shine through the paper.
You or your child can also draw on the blank with a white crayon and then place it on the screen and push the pegs in, or just go free-style with no picture at all.
And when some of those pegs just magically disappear (I remember the shag rug in our house when I was a kid. It never failed that my mom would run over some of the pegs when vacuuming), here's a container of 100+ colorful replacements.
Check This Out
Speaking of creating your own designs, check out the world's largest Lite-Brite image, created by artist Rob Surette.
Try the Lite-Brite Simulator
Kids (even the grown-up kind) can create designs online, then save, print or email them.
- Lite Brite Online
This is an exact replica of the classic toy. To play, simply select a design sheet, then click and drag the pegs to the board and drop them on the corresponding color/letter.
© 2010 Deb Kingsbury