Groundhog day is a day all about shadows, one way or another, and a perfect time to have some fun with light and shadow. We’ve all watched videos about very young children discovering their shadow for the first time. Their reactions vary from fear to delight. Older kids take great delight as they play with shadows, both outdoors and inside the house. Sometimes, they too get scared of shadows and parents have to reassure them that they are not seeing monsters but instead something ordinary, like clothes in the closet or a jumble of toys.
Outdoors gives tons of space for shadow play. For some fun today, if the weather is sunny, kids can discover how to make their shadows long or short. Can they bend their body to make different shadow shapes? Two hands can make a shadow with a pointy head by putting hands together or a shadow with bunny ears using two fingers. When walking along, shadows can bend along walls and fences. Do bodies do that? It’s fun to try and catch each others shadows. Make up stories about shadows and light up the imagination.
Inside, one of the most fun things to do is to make shadow puppets with hands and fingers. Some people are so good at making images out of shadows that is almost magical. There are lots of fun videos that show how to make shadow puppets. With a flashlight, you and your child can try a few of these.
There are wonderful books about shadows. One of the most known is Dr. Seuss, The Shape of Me and Other Stuff. Silhouettes are like shadows and this whole book has images in black that tell a story. In the book, Who Will See Their Shadows This Year? By Jerry Pallotta and illustrated by David Biedrzycki, other animals show their shadows and wonder why the groundhog is famous for his?
For a play-of-the-day what fun can you and your child have with shadow play?