What child isn’t fascinated by shadows? Take some time outside to look at the shadows around you. This is a great activity for teaching and practicing measurement skills. This is also gives you an opportunity to talk about the rotation of the earth.
What you need:
- Tape measure
- Paper and pencil
What you do:
- In the morning, go outside and measure the length of the shadow of several items. Younger children can “measure” with string. Cut the string to match the length of each shadow and compare using words such as longer, shorter, taller, bigger…
Make a simple chart and record the measurements.
- Repeat this at different times throughout the day.
- You can us a globe or ball and a flashlight to demonstrate what is happening. Tape a stick on the globe and shine the flashlight on the stick. Slowly turn the globe while keeping the light in the same place. Observe what happens to the shadow created by the stick.
What you can talk about:
- Ask your child what they notice about the shadows.
- Do they get longer or shorter as the day goes on?
- Why do they change?
- Shadows are made by blocking the light source (sun). The lower the sun is in the sky, the longer its shadow.