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Art for Kids - Shadow Drawing

Discover Early Years - Art for Kids - Shadow Drawing
An activity to strengthen
An activity to strengthen
Creative, Stem
An activity to strengthen
Suitable for Discoverers ages
5-6 years old


In this activity we will:

1. Learn about how light travels

2. Notice the details of various objects

3. Encourage drawing and mark-making in their play


Materials You Need

  1. Torchlight
  2. Art paper
  3. Tape
  4. Colour pencils
  5. A variety of small objects such as, blocks, cars

Set it Up

  1. Set up all the materials in a dark corner
  2. Tape the art paper on the floor

Steps to Guide Little Discoverers

  1. Read the story The Day I Met My Shadow by Melissa Brun
  2. Introduce the activity by demonstrating how light creates shadow when shone on an object.
  3. Choose an object, cast the light and outline the shadow of the object.
  4. Repeat with other object but change the position of the light to create shadows of different length.
  5. Discuss the difference they noticed.
Questions to help support their learning
  •  What shape can you see?
  • Can you describe the shape?
  • How is the shape changing? (By moving the light source)
  • Can you see a difference?


This activity allows children to play, experiment and learn about how light travels and changes in accordance with the direction of the light source.

Key vocabularies to use:
Shapes, shadow, light, straight, curve, long, short, through, blocked

Ways to adapt the activity:
For beginners, they can fill up the shadows using paint and their hands instead of tracing the outline.
For advanced learners, combine a few objects to create a complex shadow formation to trace.

Continue the exploration by combining objects of different levels of transparency and observe the way light travels when it hits the object.

What did we achieve?


By encouraging children to observe the difference as a variable is being manipulated, children are gathering information that will strengthen their reasoning skills. Outlining the shadows also works on their concentration and focus.