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Explore and Play: Shadow Matching

Can you match an object with its shadow? 


  • shadow tracings on paper of four everyday objects you’ve prepared beforehand (examples: cup, scissors, hat, toy truck, pencil, doll, etc.)
  • the four objects you used to make shadow tracings plus four more objects about the same size
  • desk lamp
  • wall to project shadows onto

 Key Science Concepts

  • A shadow is created by an object blocking the light.
  • A shadow shows the shape of an object, but it doesn’t show colors or many other details.


Tell children they will play a guessing game with shadows, similar to what they did in the book they just read.

  1. Lay each of your four shadow tracings on the ground. Place the group of eight objects in front of the tracings.
  2. Ask children to try to match the shadow to the object that made it. Ask, Which object made this shadow? Why do you think that is?
  3. Then have a child recreate the shadow shape using the object and a lamp. How does this help them test whether they were right?
  4. Repeat with the three other tracings.