May At-Home STEAM Activity: Shadow Drawing

This is a fun and simple way to teach kids about light and the basics of how light works.

Put a toy on a surface or a piece of paper under sunlight. Then watch as the shadow is created on the paper, floor or wall.

Light travels in a straight line (as far as our eyes can tell) until it hits an object.

When an object is placed in the light’s path, the part of the light that reaches the object will be blocked while the rest of the light keeps going. 

The blocked part becomes a shadow on another object (in this case, the paper).

Drawing with light and shadow is such an easy and yet fun activity for little kids.

It really helps them recognize and understand several important concepts in physics. 

By observing the different (funny) shapes created by sunlight at different times of the day, children may even become more creative!

Total Time 45 minutes

• Several Toys

• Paper

• Markers

• Crayons

• Sunglasses
• Adult supervision


1. Using the marker, trace the outline of the shadows on the paper. 

2. Shadow papers can be used for coloring or painting.


          Does the shadow stay the same? How does it change with time?

          Are the shadows larger, the same size or smaller than the toys?

          When you rotate the toys, what happens to the shadows?