Kids love their shadows, love to chase shadows, and love to make shadows do silly things! There are also some fun things to learn about shadows too for science and STEM! With Groundhogs Day approaching, I thought it would be fun to make simple animal shadow puppets and enjoy a fun shadow physics activity!
SHADOW PUPPET ANIMALS FOR SIMPLE PHYSICS
EASY SHADOW SCIENCE IDEAS
Shadow animal puppets are a fun theme for both Groundhogs Day as well as the rest of the year! You would assume that all animals have some sort of shadow not just the groundhog! I bet he didn’t know his shadow or lack of was all due to simple physics!
What’s your best guess, will the groundhog see his shadow this year? Is your shadow forecast different from where Punxsutawney Phil lives? He is hanging out in Pennsylvania. Read more about the groundhog and his shadow.
ALSO CHECK OUT: Groundhog Day STEM Activities
WHAT IS PHYSICS ALL ABOUT?
Let’s keep it basic for our younger scientists. Physics is all about energy and matter and the relationship they share with one another.
Like all sciences, physics activities are all about solving problems and figuring out why things do what they do. Keep in mind that physics will sometimes involve chemistry too!
Encourage your kids to make predictions, discuss observations, and re-test their ideas if they don’t get the desired results the first time. Science always includes an element of mystery that kids naturally love to figure out! Learn more about using the scientific method with young kids here.
WHY IS SCIENCE SO IMPORTANT FOR KIDS?
Kids are curious and always looking to explore, discover, check 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!
Science surrounds us, inside and out. Kids love checking things out with magnifying glasses, creating chemical reactions with kitchen ingredients, and of course exploring stored energy! Check out 50 awesome 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 pushes a card down a ramp, plays in front of the mirror, laughs at your shadow puppets, 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.
SHADOW PUPPET ANIMALS
You will find your free printable shadow animal puppets download below. We used regular copy paper, but you can also print them on card stock or even laminate them! Maybe you can pair a few with a favorite book too.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: LEGO SHADOW DRAWING
YOU WILL NEED:
- Printable Animal Puppets
- Straws, Craft Sticks or Skewers
- Tape and Scissors
Click below to get your printable animal puppets
I love the set up because it’s fairly quick and certainly easy. You may want to start cutting out your animals ahead of time though.
Once you have each animal cut out, flip it over, and attach a straw (or whatever else you have available) with a piece of tape! That’s it! You are ready to explore your shadow science activity!
For this simple shadow science activity, you are going to need a nice beam of sunlight. Or are you? If it’s suitable, have your kids figure out where the best shadows are going to be located in the house or classroom by experimenting and testing!
Let them see if they can figure out the recipe for the perfect shadow! Check out our shadows below with some of the different animals.
Another fun idea is to check around the house or classroom at different times of the day? Is the light in different areas at different times.
Can you find a way to make a shadow without light (hint: flashlight). There are so many great questions to ask your kids to spark a little creative thinking.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE: Shadows Science Outdoors
Your kids will love how playful this shadow science physics activity is to use! For a craft twist, have your kids design their own animals to use. Or you can cut out and trace around our animals for them to color!
WHAT’S THE SCIENCE BEHIND SHADOWS?
Shadows are all about physics and light. You need a source of light for there to be a shadow. This is the reason why the groundhog may or may not see his shadow depending on the weather that day.
Here, we are using the sun as our light source. When an object is in front of the light source it blocks the light and creates the shadow. Since the light can’t pass through our paper, it creates a shadow on the wall.
If our paper were transparent however, the light would pass through and there would NOT be a shadow! You can also play around with the angle you hold your stick shadow puppets or how close or far from the wall you hold them. What happens?
Now when Groundhogs Day rolls around you will know exactly what’s going on!
WANT THE FULL GROUNDHOG DAY STEM PACK?
Click here or on the image below for great ways to explore this fun theme. This pack also includes light science activities that can be used year-round!
PLAYFUL SHADOW SCIENCE KIDS WILL LOVE!
Check out more favorite and easy physics experiments for kids.
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