Shadow art outdoor science is a hands-on STEAM activity for kids that will help children learn about the science of shadows while painting sidewalk chalk art. Making DIY chalk paint, painting shadows, and making chalk paint art is a fun outdoor art and science activity for toddlers to adults!
Making shadow art is a fun way to get kids outside learning and flexing their creative muscles while having fun creating art outdoors!
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Sidewalk Chalk Art: Shadow STEAM Activity for Kids
Shadow art outdoor science is a hands-on STEAM activity that will help children learn that shadows are created when an object blocks light.
In this art and science activity, children will have the opportunity to use their bodies and other objects to block the light of the sun in order to create a shadow. Then they can create shadow art!
If you completed the Human Sundial Shadow Science Experiment you already know that the suns position in the sky effects the size of our shadows. You may want to do this experiment before you try this activity so you know when the best times to make shadows will be.
Feel free to do the tracings during the time of day when the shadows are the best, and make art out of them later. We recommend tracing shadows at different times throughout the day in order to experiment and create shadows art of different shapes and sizes.
Shadow Art Outdoor Science Requirements and Materials
- Sunny Day
- Open space with no shadows and no clouds overhead. Driveways, parking lots, and playgrounds work well.
- Recycled chalk paint – Making recycled chalk paint is another great way for kids to explore science!
- sidewalk chalk
- Science Notebook (optional)
- Camera (optional)
Understanding the Science of Shadows: Recommended Reading for Kids
Below are some great books to check out to help extend your child’s understanding of shadows and how they are formed. Any of shadow science books for kids below would make a great adjunct to this shadow art science lesson.
How to Make Shadow Art: Painting Shadows with Chalk Paint
1. Have kids play around with creating different types of shadows using their bodies and/or other objects such as leaves, toys, bikes, etc.
Finding a good body position to create shadow art may be hard at first. Encourage your child to keep experimenting. This is how learning happens!
2. Record shadow art observations in a science notebook (optional).
3. Use sidewalk chalk to trace each other’s shadows in various positions. Tell those silly kids to keep it clean!
5. Take pictures of your beautiful shadow art creations!
Making Shadow Art with Chalk Paint: Sidewalk Chalk Art for Kids
There is nothing better than learning through play. My daughter had trouble figuring out how to make her shadow do what she wanted it to at first.
As she played (experimented) she began to learn how to move her body in relation to the sun to produce the type of shadow she wanted.
I absolutely loved working with recycled chalk paint and shadow tracings! This activity is NOT just for kids. Creating shadow art with DIY chalk paint was like painting with dusty watercolors in a big coloring book on the driveway.
My daughter loved it too. She asks to paint shadows every day she loves it so much. Painting shadow art is a fantastic process art and science activity that my daughter and I both thoroughly enjoyed!
For more information about using Recycled Chalk Paint click on the link.
We have a few other tracings that we still need to paint… and a few more crazy ideas of how we can position our shadows to make more fun shadow art.
Shadow Art Outdoor Science Activity: Chalk Paint Art for Kids
Shadow art outdoor science is a hands-on STEAM activity that will help children learn about shadows while making art. A fun outside art and science activity for toddlers to adults!
Don’t forget to check out our summer bucket list seasonal activity guide for more fun ideas.
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