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Lamp Shadow Center

Make shadows using the light from a lamp.


  • choose a room with lights that can be switched off (or the shades drawn)
  • desk lamp with a 100-watt bulb (or either a slide projector or an overhead projector)
  • flat blank wall, projector screen, or other surface to project shadows onto
  • multiple objects to use to make shadows (chair or stool, bowl, plastic toys, stuffed animals, football, etc.)


Set up the lamp facing the blank wall with enough distance between them so that multiple children can make shadows. Lay out objects children can use to make shadows. Let children freely explore making shadows, without specific direction. If children need ideas, encourage them to explore lamp shadows by:

  • rotating, turning, and flipping the objects
  • moving the objects closer and farther from the lamp
  • using multiple objects to create one shadow