A Family Shadow Walk
Family walks, no matter where (around the block, in a park, at the beach), provide wonderful opportunities to explore the mysteries of light and shadows. Your child can learn a lot—like how to make shadows bigger and smaller and how shadows move. Enjoy the walk and the fun of observing shadows and how they change as you move about outdoors.
Measure the lengths of your shadows using pieces of yarn or string or with a tape measure. Measure the shadows of other objects too, like a parked car, trees, the mailbox, or anything else that casts a shadow. Ask questions or make comments that help your child think:
- I wonder what will happen to your shadow if you step forward or back?
- What might happen if we stand close together?
- Where is the sun in the sky right now? (Ask this at several times of the day.)
- What happens to shadows on a cloudy day?
- Explore, observe, and enjoy doing and learning about science together!
Source: Adapted from the Message in a Backpack for W.C. Ritz, 2011/2012, "Me and My Shadows," Teaching Young Children 5 (2): 22–25.
© National Association for the Education of Young Children — Promoting excellence in early childhood education