Fun with Shadows

Discover the art and science of shadows—even on an overcast day!


  • Paper
  • Tape
  • Drawing implements (pen, color pencils, crayons)
  • Objects to trace


  1. Choose objects suitable for making shadows. Find items of different heights, sizes, and shapes.
  2. Head outside. Locate the position of the sun and set up a drawing station where your objects will cast a shadow.
  3. Position your paper on the ground and set up your objects so they cast shadows on the paper.
  4. Start tracing.
  5. Look at the tracings. How do they compare with the objects themselves? Do they look different? Feel free to turn them into something new.
  6. Later in the day, return to the tracing stations to see how the shadows have changed.

No sun? Make shadows inside using flashlights or floor lamps. Make shadow puppets to act out a skit or scene.