Silly Shadow Walk

Child making a shadow while posing outside.

Look for silly shadows as you walk with your child to the bus stop, around the neighborhood, or anywhere! How are the shadows made?

10–20 minutes


Get Ready

Materials you will need:

  • Cell phone or iPad camera

Things to do before the activity:

  • Plan the activity for a sunny day. If it is not a sunny day outside, you can use a bright flashlight or cell phone light to make silly shadows indoors.

A character with a speech bubble and bat with a thought bubble.

I wonder how shadows are made?

Can you make a silly shadow?


Step 1.

Before going outside, shine a light on a wall. Make hand shadows. Point out that your hands are blocking the light and creating shadows on the wall.

Step 2.

Go outside to find silly shadows. Look for things that make silly shadows on the ground, a wall, or other surfaces. Some things to look for might be animals, stairs, fences, or plants. Safety alert: When looking for shadows outdoors, remind your child never to look directly at the sun because it can hurt his or her eyes.

  • What is blocking the sunlight?
  • Where is the light coming from? Notice that shadows appear on a surface on the opposite side of where the sunlight hits an object.

Step 3.

Take pictures of the shadows you find. Talk about shadows you find. Take a picture of each one so you can look at your shadows after your shadow walk.

  • Use words like between, next to, and in front of to describe shadow positions.
  • Take turns choosing a shadow. How many objects are making each shadow?


Look at your silly shadow pictures together.

  • What object is making each shadow?
  • Describe where the light hits the object. Where does the shadow appear?