This shadow sidewalk chalk art project for kids is a hands-on STEAM activity that can help children learn about shadow science and how shadows form while painting sidewalk chalk art. Making DIY chalk paint and painting shadow art is a fun outdoor art project and science activity for kids from toddlers to teens!
Making shadow sidewalk chalk art is a fun way to get kids outside learning and flexing their creative muscles while having fun creating art outdoors.
Invite children to trace shadows and paint them for a fun outdoor shadow art STEAM activity that children will LOVE!
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Shadow STEAM Activity for Kids
Shadow art outdoor science is a hands-on STEAM activity that will help children learn about shadow science and that shadows are formed when an object blocks light.
In this art and science activity, ask children to use their bodies, and other objects, to block the light of the sun in order to create a shadow.
Next, invite the kids to paint their shadows to create shadow sidewalk chalk art. Follow the simple shadow sidewalk art step by step directions below to get started!
Shadow Sidewalk Chalk Art: Painting Shadows with Chalk Paint
Creating shadow sidewalk chalk art is a great way to get the kids outside learning, creating and having fun!
First, you may want to try this Human Sundial Shadow Science Experiment to help the kids learn how the suns position in the sky affects the size of our shadows.
Next, invite children to trace shadows and then use them to make sidewalk chalk art.
We recommend tracing shadows at different times throughout the day in order to experiment and create shadows art of different shapes and sizes.
You don’t even have to make shadow sidewalk chalk art out of your shadow art tracings right away. Feel free to trace shadow art any time, and paint them later.
Just make sure your shadow art doesn’t get wet and washed away before you have a chance to paint your shadows to make sidewalk chalk art. Sprinklers can turn on and erase shadow art before children have the time to paint them–watch out!
Sidewalk Chalk Art Supplies
- 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
- Camera (optional)
How Do Shadows Form: Recommended Reading for Kids
Below are some great books for children 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 Sidewalk Chalk Art
Step 1 – Create shadows outside using the sun as the source of light
Invite children to experiment and play around with creating different types of shadows outside. Encourage kids to use their bodies and other objects such as leaves, toys, bikes, etc. to block the sunlight and create a shadow on the ground.
Step 2 – Trace shadows for sidewalk chalk art
Use sidewalk chalk to trace shadows in various positions. Tell those silly kids to keep it clean!
Trace the shadows of human bodies, animal bodies, and objects to make shadow sidewalk art. Trees, flowers, and children toys are a few more fun shadow sidewalk art ideas you can try.
Finding a good position to create shadow art on the sidewalk or driveway can be hard for kids at first. Encourage children to keep experimenting. This is how learning happens!
Step 3 – Paint shadow sidewalk chalk art
Emphasize process over product. In other words, it’s more about the experience of learning and having fun, than how the sidewalk chalk art looks.
Step 4 – Take pictures of shadow sidewalk chalk art
Sidewalk chalk art doesn’t last long… Make sure that you take pictures of your beautiful shadow art creations!
Related: What is the Summer Solstice?
Make shadows with a flashlight
After creating shadow sidewalk chalk art, invite children to see what happens when they use a flashlight.
Invite the kids to grab a flashlight and make a shadow at night and during the day outside. See if your children will naturally experiment in shady areas, if not see if you can lead them to come up with the idea on their own.
Related: Rainbow Science
Shadow Art STEAM Activity: Questions to Consider
Once children are finished painting shadow sidewalk chalk art, consider asking them a few questions to solidify the simple science concepts that they learned about.
How do Shadows Form?
Shadows form when an object blocks light.
How do shadows form outside?
Shadows are formed when an object, person, animal, or the earth itself blocks the sunlight, or, another external source of light such as a flashlight.
What light source did we use to make shadows?
How did you block the light?
The light was blocked when an object (or body) was placed between the sun (external light source) and the sidewalk or driveway.
What happens when you block the light of the sun?
It creates a shadow!
Shadow STEAM Sidewalk Chalk Art for Kids
Is there anything better than learning through play? My daughter had trouble figuring out how to make her shadow do what she wanted to make sidewalk chalk art 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 that she wanted.
We absolutely loved working with recycled chalk paint and shadow tracings! Painting shadow art is a fantastic process art and science activity that we thoroughly enjoyed!
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.
Try this shadow sidewalk chalk art idea with your children today!
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.
Learn more about Rhythms of Play HERE!
If you Liked Shadow Art STEAM, You may also like:
- Human Sundial Shadow Science Experiment
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- Rainbow Rainy Day Art: STEAM Activity
- Art & Science: Experiment with Watercolor Resist
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Nell has over 20 years of experience working with children and is the founder of Rhythms of Play. She believes in the wonder of childhood, the power of the imagination, learning through play, and getting outside in all seasons! Learn more…