This year my first grader was learning about light and shadow. Sure, you can get the concept of light and shadow and learn about light bouncing off things in a book, but hands on learning reinforces and helps kids grasp concepts so much better.
We experimented with light and shadow several different ways and I am going to share those ways and more fun ways to explore light and shadow with your kids. Some experiments give kids a visual of how the sun moves across the sky and how an object blocks different amounts of light depending on where the light source is and others offer fun ways to play ‘light and shadow’.
Light and Shadow Experiment 1
Summer is a perfect time to learn about light and shadow. One fun way to learn the concept of how the angle of the light to an object changes a shadow’s length is to BE that object. If you have the space, this is a really fun way to track that.
- Grab some sidewalk chalk and hit the pavement bright and early.
- Chalk an outline of your subject’s feet.
- Then chalk an outline of his/her shadow, putting the time in the shadow.
- Every 1-2 hours, go out and have him/her stand in the chalk feet outlines while you chalk their shadow again, putting the time in each shadow.
Light and Shadow Experiment 2
This light and shadow experiment adds art to the mix. How many of you made silhouettes in school or as kids? Grab a large piece of black paper, chalk, a stool, and a light. Place the light on one side of the stool and the black paper on the other side. YOU be the subject and let your child use the chalk to trace your image onto the black paper.
Light and Shadow Experiment 3
Collect a flashlight and different sized household items. Head to a darkened room and let your child play around with shining the light at different angles with the different household items. This is a great experiment to weave in a lesson on transparent, translucent, and opaque items. Instead of just telling them what they are to discover, ask them what their findings are. A great way to help them track their findings is to create a small discovery journal so they can write or draw what they discover.
Light and Shadow Experiment 4
I found this to be the most fun experiment. Now mind you, our video isn’t some great quality show but the storyteller is the cutest storyteller EVER. Are you ready for a story that uses light and shadow?
What you need:
- Dark Room
- A white sheet
- Sheet holders
- An audience – even of 1