Shadow Exploration

Shadow exploration for toddlersSpend a little time on Pinterest and you’ll probably start to think that learning for kids happens best during carefully curated play experiences.

Spend any time with a toddler and you’ll soon discover that the most amazing learning occurs when neither of you were expecting it to happen!

The other night, we were watching “Sid the Science Kid” explore shadows. Since it was getting dark I pointed to the wall and told my son “See, there is YOUR shadow.” He was intrigued, he moved around to make his shadow move and then asked me to try and make MORE shadows.

I went and got a flashlight out of the drawer and showed him how to create shadows with it. After shining it in his eyes (we all saw that coming) he clamped his hand down over it. The light coming through his skin inspired a new exploration of what light looked like going THROUGH objects. We tried everything from the plastic Easter eggs in his play kitchen (creating different colors) to the blanket on the couch (it didn’t shine through at all)

By the time he was done experimenting, 30min had passed, the show was forgotten and we had explored light, shadow, translucent, opaque, and transparent. All of this was guided by him, using minimal resources (and only what I had handy) and only a few prompts from me.

Since then he has shown me shadows when we are outside, I even caught him “playing” with his shadow in the kitchen, and the flashlight comes out every now and then for more experiments. Ongoing science investigation thanks to a TV show, a flashlight and a little time to explore.

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