Shadows fascinate young children, opening doors to many learning opportunities. Although typically associated with sunlight, shadows also can be produced indoors with light. Kindergartners can learn both indoors and out about the science theme of shadows. Active games and table or desk games provide hands-on learning. You can use games to provide your kindergartners with a variety of learning experiences about shadows.
Hang a sheet from the ceiling a few feet out from the wall. Place a spotlight at the wall. Have kindergartners sit in front of the sheet to watch their friends perform charades activities. One child at a time should go behind the sheet and perform an action or bend her body into an animal, shape or letter. Have the other children try to guess what the performer is portraying, as they can only see her shadow.
Play tag outdoors in the sunlight. Mark off a play area. Have the children play a game of tag without actually touching one another. Tell the children they must step on another kindergartner's shadow to tag them and not touch the child.
Have an adult helper take one child at a time outdoors to the sunlight and on a hard surface. The adult will use chalk to trace the shadow of a kindergartner standing still or posing in a desired position. Each child may use chalk to draw her face, hair or a hint as to which child created that particular shadow. After all the shadows are completed, take the group outdoors. Have the children try to guess which shadow belongs to which child. When the group guesses correctly, that child should stand on her shadow until the game is finished.
Shadow Match Game
Have each child trace a cookie cutter or craft dough cutter onto each of two index cards. The kindergartners should colour one shape to create the object, person or animal the shape represents. For example, he should colour a dinosaur shape green and add eyes and scales as desired or colour an apple red and add green leaves. He should then colour the matching shape black like a shadow. Have each child create a set of 20 cards -- 10 in colour and 10 in black. The children may form groups to play with one child's set of shadow-match cards, then use another child's cards for another matching game.
My Shadow Game
Play outdoors in the sun. Have the kindergartners listen to your directions. Tell the children to make their shadow as short as they can. Ask the children to walk backward to try to get their shadows not to touch their feet. See who can make the tallest shadow by stepping back toward the sun and stretching their shadow taller. Ask the children to stretch their arms upward and try to make their shadow as tall as a nearby building or tree. Have the children hide their shadows by stepping into the shade of a building or other object.