Light and shadow have an aura of mystery that intrigues preschoolers whose minds are full of curiosity about the world around them. When you turn light and shadow science into a game, your child’s play becomes a learning experience that’s fun for the whole family. From active movement activities to quiet art activities, you and your child can bond over light and shadow learning in the guise of quality family time.
Light and Shadow Scavenger Hunt
By preschool age, your child is keenly observing the world around him and trying to make sense of how things work. Make the most of this natural curiosity by taking a walk together, inside or outside, and trying to find as many sources of light as possible, including the sun, streetlights, porch lights, car headlights, neon signs, overhead lights, flashlights and glow sticks. You can also look for interesting shape shadows or see how many square, rectangle or circular shadows you can find. Look for the shortest, tallest, widest and skinniest shadow.
Shadows on the Wall
Shine a bright lamp on a blank wall and let your child experiment with what happens when she blocks part of the light with various objects or her own body. Let her use different props to create different shadow shapes on the wall. See how many shapes you can make using two or three people.
Light and Shadow Theater
Light and shadow make for entertaining dramatic play time. Help your child make some thin cardboard stick puppet with striped, polka-dotted and zigzag designs cut into the body. Create a shadow theater by hanging a white sheet over the open side of a large appliance box with one side cut out. Shine a bright light onto the sheet and have your child hold his puppets between the light and the sheet to see how the shadow mimics the cut-out design in the puppet. If you cover the cutouts with colored tissue or cellophane, your child can discover that shadows can have color too. Give your child free play time to create and tell stories with the shadow puppets.
My Own Shadow
Finding their own shadows delights many young children. Get outside to look for your shadows on the sidewalk and wave at them. Ask your child how she knows which shadow is hers and help her notice that the shadow mimics whatever she does. Get silly and see what else you can make your shadows do. Trace your favorite shadow poses in sidewalk chalk or lay out a length of black poster paper and trace the shadows on there. Cut it out for a shadow friend that can go wherever your child goes, night or day. Compare the length of your shadows at different times of day. Trace the shadow of a fence post, tree or bush and go back later to see whether the shadow has moved.
Cut shapes out of black construction paper or allow your child to tear the paper into a shadow shape of his choice. Glue the shadows onto white construction paper and draw a sun. Use a light projector to create a silhouette image of your child and mount it on a white backdrop. Your child can add his own touch to the picture by gluing or drawing pictures around the sides that show things that are important to him such as his family, his pets and his favorite toys. While you are creating together, you can talk about how shadows only show a person’s outline but you can’t see the parts that make him special with your eyes, only with your heart.
As the pressure to pass standardized tests increases, even preschools are spending more time on strictly academic subjects. Instead of a general introduction to the alphabet, many preschools include a ...Read More
Just because your little learner's lead teacher makes it look easy, doesn't mean that acting as an early childhood educator is simple. Teaching preschool age children requires highly specialized training ...Read More
The best time to send your child off to school depends largely on whom you ask. Proponents of starting kindergarten as early as possible believe it gives a child a ...Read More
Your little one may face a culture shock in daycare if your Christian values prevent him from doing things that are common in many daycare centers. That does not mean ...Read More
In the world of foster care and adoption, when it comes to siblings, keeping them together is always the first choice. Even though in your mind, you see yourselves all ...Read More
Most parents adore that toothless gummy grin, but whether you like it or not, teeth begin to surface as your baby turns around 6 months old and his first milk ...Read More
You can use the camera on your iPod Touch to take VGA-quality photos and store them on the device, but you can also transfer high-quality photos from your computer to ...Read More
Because it's not enough that your preschooler or kindergartner can build an amazing sand castle and (almost) tie her own shoes -- now you have to worry about her math ...Read More
While an early educational program might not ensure that your preschooler is Harvard bound, it can help her to learn better. Whether you are looking to build on a specific ...Read More
In the beginning of the PC revolution, when monitors where often 12 to 14 inches in size, using your keyboard directly in front of the screen was not an option; ...Read More
Instilling self-control by establishing and sticking with rules is the name of the game when it comes to reigning in misbehaving toddlers and preschoolers. Self-control -- something many adults could ...Read More
As the mom of a toddler or preschooler, you are probably well acquainted with the magic of dipping. There's just something about dunking her meal that can get even the ...Read More
Potty training is a normal part of every child's physical and emotional development, but not every child develops at the same pace. If your child is resistant to potty training ...Read More
The grief that accompanies parental death can trigger psychological side effects for your child. If these psychological effects are long term or if they interfere with your child’s emotional or ...Read More
According to the Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development, 80 percent of children living in the United States have at least one sibling. Many children have more than one sibling, and ...Read More
There are a number of psychological tests used to measure intellectual ability in children, but there are a limited number that are available for preschool-aged children. Although measurement of skills ...Read More
Toddlers are curious by nature. Young children in the toddler stage are discovering their independence and are interested in exploring the world around them. However, their exploration can lead to ...Read More
You don't have to break the bank to throw your little one a top-notch bash. Free or low-cost places such as public parks are creative alternatives to the more pricey ...Read More
If you're looking for a fun activity for you and your preschooler, (and an unforgettable party treat) these puppy cupcakes are sure to please. If you want to get creative ...Read More
Sensory play activities are enjoyable and educational for your toddler or preschooler. You're encouraged to join in the fun but expect to get your hands messy! Any pastime that stimulates ...Read More