How Do I Explain Shadows To My Preschooler?

How Do I Explain Shadows To My Preschooler?

Through these activities, you can explain to preschoolers the concept of shadows.

Early childhood is wonderful because at that time kids are hungry for knowledge. They are intrigued and are ever ready to take on more. This means that they're likely to be interested in things adults might disregard or find boring. Like shadows. Speaking of shadows, this article explores ideas on how to explain shadows to preschoolers.


How to explain shadows to preschoolers


One of the perks of teaching kids is the fun that comes with it. Below are ideas on how to explain shadows to preschoolers while having loads of fun.

how to teach preschoolers about shadows

  1. Start by introducing them to the concept of shadows


Though you can easily point to any shadows since they're everywhere, the most interesting shadows are the ones the children make themselves. With their own bodies. What makes this even more interesting is that they can move the shadows around.


  1. Engage the kids


Before continuing, you need to find out what the kids already know about shadows. Split them into smaller groups and get them to talk about the shadows they saw during the tour. This way you get a sense of where they are with the concept of shadows.


  1. Fun activities


Through these activities, you can explain to preschoolers the concept of shadows. They understand easier when you make it fun.


  • Shadow hunting outside


This is a way to let the kids make personal discoveries. Document it if you can. You may see them look for the shadows in every object until some of them discover that they could move their own shadows. Help them discover more by asking them to jump as they watch their shadows or ask them what next has a shadow.


  • Learning through playing

playing together

Next, have the children play a shadow game. Let them run around in the playground on a sunny day. The trick is to step on another's shadow, and they are the shadow. They can all experience trying to catch up with each other's shadow.


  • Explain the movement of shadows


Go out again and have them note where their shadows stand during that time of the day. Come back later on the same day and let them see the changes in their shadows. Explain to the children why their shadows have moved and explain that the sun is the cause of this phenomenon.


  • Puppet shadows


Try having your preschoolers turn down the lights in the room. Hold a sheet while flashing a torchlight through it. Show the kids some basic shadow puppets. Try the bunny where you hold the first two fingers next to your thumb in a wide V. Or whichever puppet shadow you think your preschoolers will appreciate.


  • Body parts naming


This should be fun for them. Have one student stand outside on the pavement and outline their shadow. Let the children talk about the silhouette and name the body parts.


Safety tips


Tell the kids not to look directly into the sun. This could be dangerous to their eyes. Repeat this to them as many times as you can.




During the fun activities, explain to the children that the shadows move because the earth rotates around the sun. Make sure to explain in simpler terms their age bracket can understand.

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Written by

Lydia Ume