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Whenever there is light, there is a shadow with you! Why do you have a shadow? Why is your shadow a different size at different times of the day? What is a shadow? How is a shadow made? Do all objects have shadows?

What are shadows?

This short video explains to children in simple language the concept of shadow.

Body Shadows Science Activity

Using shadows for science play is a great way for kids to explore the physical sciences. When kids use their bodies to explore shadows they’re having fun learning experiences that cost nothing more than getting outside and playing. You may even want to try this at different times of the day to catch the sun in different positions.

Telling the time with Shadows

Use an object to cast a shadow. Mark off different hours with chalk, sticks, rocks or on a piece of cardboard. Try checking the time and adding more times to your dial tomorrow and the rest of the week. Telling the time with Shadows!


In this activity, families will make two different kinds of sundials to help tell the time using only the sun; one using their bodies and the sun (a.k.a. Human Sundial) to track their shadows on the ground using chalk (a “Human Sundial”), and another with a paper plate, straw, crayons, and patience! In both activities, families will use their observation, prediction, and communication skills as they track the shadow’s movement across the plate/ground. Make your own sundial!

Response Activity


Imagine how people determined time and why they would have needed to before there were clocks.

Read a book about shadows

Watch Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal 


Want more? See themed days by our staff on our Daily Adventures page.