Using shadows and reflections for science play is a great way for kids to explore the physical sciences, and add in some much-needed gross motor play! When kids use their bodies to explore shadows, they’re having a fun learning experience that costs nothing more than getting outside and being active. Find out how to set up cost free, fun and playful preschool science activities!


Shadow Play For Preschool Science

Exploring shadows with body movements is a great way to get kids active and excited about learning; it’s a full-body experience! See our list of fun exercises for kids!

You may even want to try this at different times of the day to catch the sun in different positions. If it’s a rainy day, try a flashlight indoors instead!

Explore shadows with preschoolers for fun and playful learning. Plus, we have some more easy shadow activity suggestions at the end for you.

Why Science Is Important For Preschoolers

Kids are curious and always looking to explore, discover, check things out, and experiment to find out why things do what they do, move like they move, or change as they change!

Indoors or outdoors, science is amazing! Let’s introduce our younger kiddos to science at a time in their development when they have so much curiosity about the world around them!

Science surrounds us, inside and out. Preschoolers love looking at things out with magnifying glasses, creating chemical reactions with kitchen ingredients, and of course exploring stored energy! Check out 50 awesome preschool science projects to get started!

There lots of easy science concepts that you can introduce kids to very early on! You might not even think about science when your toddler or preschooler pushes a car down a ramp, plays in front of the mirror, fills a container with water, or bounces balls over and over again.

See where I am going with this list! What else can you add if you stop to think about it? Science starts early, and you can be a part of that with setting up science at home with everyday materials.

Or you can bring easy science to a group of kids! We find a ton of value in cheap science activities and experiments. Check out our helpful science resources below.

Helpful Science Resources To Get Your Started

Here are a few resources to help you introduce science more effectively to your kiddos or students and feel confident when presenting materials. You’ll find helpful free printables throughout.

What Is A Shadow?

Many objects make shadows, including our bodies! Since light cannot pass through a body, it creates a shadow. A shadow is simply a dark area which is made by an object coming between rays of light and the surface.

Outside enjoying this body shadow science activity, the sun is our light. If you are indoors, you can use a flashlight as the source of light to create shadows.

You will notice at different times of the day; shadows are different. Longer, shorter, or no shadow at all. So the size of the shadow depends on the angle of the light shining.

We know the sun moves to different positions over the course of the day. When you move, your shadow moves with you because you change the shape of the area the light passes through.

Can you find other things outside and inside that have shadows? What happens if light can pass through an object; is there still a shadow?

A sundial is another fun activity for exploring shadows and a great extension to our outdoor shadow activity! See how to make a sundial from a paper plate!


Make Shadows With Your Body

What better way to make shadows for a simple shadow activity than with your body! Plus, it’s a great body awareness activity too!


  • Your body
  • A sunny outdoor day
  • Flashlights if you can’t get outside


1. Shadow Games

You can play fun shadow games by calling out different shapes, letters, or numbers and inviting the kids to do their best to create them in shadow.

Or, call out movements like standing on one foot, reaching up high to touch the sky, and walking on all fours. Also, choose kids to lead the activity and come up with ideas!

2. Music

Dancing around with your shadow is also fun! All of these movements will help develop body awareness.

We incorporated one of our favorite silly songs into our shadow play, which made the shadow movements extra funny. Sing the song: Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes to get your kids moving and examining their shadows.


3. Drawing Shadows

Take a few pictures of the shadows they made for the kids to look at afterward. Then invite the kids to draw a picture of themselves with their shadows. What a great STEAM activity!

Alternatively, grab some sidewalk chalk and pair up if you have the space. Outline your partner’s shadow and then swap places.

If you want to make some observations about shadows and daylight, draw outlines at different times of the day!

More Fun Ways To Teach Kids About Shadows

Shadow Puppets

Make these printable animal puppets that kids can use to explore shadows. Or make these fun groundhog day puppets!

Shadow Science Physics Activity with Paper Animal PuppetsPin

Drawing LEGO Shadows

A fun shadow activity that incorporates a bit of brick building too!


More Fun Pre-K Learning Activities

Preschool STEM Lessons Packs

You asked, and we answered! This year we will be featuring preschool thematic units designed with the help of a preschool teacher!

Who Are These Packs For?

 These packs are perfect for kiddos ages 3-5 (older and younger as needed)! Teachers, parents, caregivers, and group leaders can use these activities easily.

What’s Included:

There are 4 fun preschool themes to get you started. This is an ” I can explore” series!

Each unit contains approximately 15 activities, with instructions and templates as needed. Hands-on activities are provided to keep it fun and exciting. This includes sensory bins, experiments, games, and more! Easy supplies keep it low cost and book suggestions add the learning time.