Shadow Art

When I did a theme on shadows, I had my kids draw objects using stencils onto poster board. Then they colored them any way they pleased. I had them cut out the objects (some might need help), then we glued them onto Popsicle sticks to make shadow puppets. They held up their puppets while shining a light on them with a flashlight. The puppets’ shadows showed up on the wall and the kids made up shadow shows (like puppet shows) and had fun making them bigger and smaller.

First you put a piece of black construction paper on the wall. Have the child sit next to it. Then shine a light from the other side and outline the face with chalk. Cut and reverse and you have a wonderful image with the rooter tail, pony tail, just looks exactly like each child.

Then you can put it on a page that has cut outs from magazine (which relate to the child’s life). Maybe they like horses or dog or bugs! Then paste/glue the black shadow on top of that page.

Needs: Flashlights, white and black construction paper

Talk children about shadows. Tape white paper onto the wall and have children hold their hands in front of it while shining the flashlight on to create a shadow print. Trace their outline shadows. You can also let them sit in a chair and trace the outline of their heads.

I have used this activity with kindergarten children for several years and they love it!

Take the children outdoors to a large paved area (we use the end of our parking lot where there is no traffic during the day). Children work with partners. One child “poses” while the partner traces his shadow on the pavement with a piece of sidewalk chalk; then they reverse roles. Some children have trouble with the concept that the line they are following is the edge of the shadow, but once you point this out to them, they do well. Some children also have trouble standing still long enough but they usually will when they see that they will not have a picture if they keep moving. It helps to allow them to experiment with what their shadow can do before you do the drawing activity.

If time and interest allow, the children like to color in the outline of their shadow, draw facial features, clothes, etc. Be sure to have each child write his name by his picture. Remember to have someone trace your shadow too!

Children trace a body pattern onto white and black paper and cut out. Decorate the white body to look like themselves. Glue onto paper and draw outdoor scene. Children glue shadow on the opposite side of the paper as the sun.

While the kids are outside playing, let them trace each others shadow with sidewalk chalk. This will give them something different to do and they will enjoy it.