Activity Idea – Shadow Play
Clixo x Mr. Andy presents: THREE activities that invite your child to explore light, shadows, and to get creative with their Clixo masterpieces.
Gather your finest Clixo masterpieces! Whether you’ve created something from the guide book or something new and unique, we’re going to explore what their shadows look like!
What is a shadow? A shadow is a dark (real-image) area where light from a light source is blocked by an opaque object.
How are shadows created? To cast shadows, you can opt to use natural light or artificial light. You can even ask your little one questions such as: Where does natural light come from? How about artificial light?
You can invite your child to explore shadows with their bodies by having your child block the light source. You can use the sun, flashlight, or lamp. Afterwards, it’s time to create shadows using Clixo. Your Clixo work can be something that’s defined or abstract.
Activity 1: Clixo Shadow Clock: Start by positioning your structure so that it can form a shadow.
If you are using natural light from the sun, this would be a great opportunity to introduce your Clixo shadow explorer to the positions of the sun during various parts of the day. Using cardinal directions to locate the position of the sun during various times of the day will help your child understand where the sun rises in the morning (East) and where the sun sets during the afternoon (West).
The size of the Clixo shadow can also indicate the time of day. If your Clixo shadow doesn’t cast a shadow that seems to greatly favor any particular side, the sun is at its highest point and this typically occurs around noon.
This activity would require your Clixo structure to be left outdoors for an extended period of time. However, you can emulate this activity indoors using a flashlight or a table lamp.
Activity 2: Permanent Clixo Shadow: Clixo structures are meant to be deconstructed. Honor your Clixo masterpieces by drawing them and giving them a new lease on life!
Start by propping your Clixo creation up against a light source like a flashlight or a table lamp. Tape a piece of paper down where the shadow of your creation has been cast.
Your little artist may notice that there are some areas where light is able to pass through. This would be a great time to ask why they think that happens. On the piece of paper, they can opt to leave the openings as is, or opt to fill it in completely with a color or a pattern.
After your artist is done tracing the shadow, they can add details that will help immortalize their Clixo structure. Their imagination can fully come into play here. Go wild! Use all sorts of colors and art materials!
An extension on the activity: Your child can also do this activity over again by varying the height of the light source, or changing the position of the structure. This allows them to create a different piece of art with the same materials! It also gives them a valuable opportunity to explore why these shapes have shifted.
Activity 3: Clixo Shadow Puppet Theater: You don’t need TV screens or devices to entertain your child when you’ve got good old fashioned imagination!
Use your Clixo builds to put on a shadow puppet performance. Make characters from your favorite book or show. You can also develop original, new characters with their own personalities.
In a dark room, shine a flashlight against a wall and start performing. This could be a fun activity for groups of kids to exercise their storytelling skills. This would also be a great activity to wind down before bedtime.
Helpful Information for Parents
Shadow play is a great way to capture children’s attention and spark their imagination and creativity. For the younger children, allow them use flashlights to explore light concepts. It is not only fun but they are learning to manipulate the light and shadows.
For our older explorers, allowing them to explore shadows outdoors at different times of day will provide an interesting discussion about how shadows work. Have them make size comparisons of shadows throughout the day. It will make for interesting conversations about the position of the sun. As stated earlier, this would be a great time to introduce cardinal directions such as North, South, East, and West in relations to the sun’s position.
About Mr. Andy: Andy Yung is an NYCDOE pre-Kindergarten teacher at P.S. 244Q. He has been teaching pre-K for 8 years. His programs include a Reggio-inspired play based curriculum where children’s interest drives the learning and a Tinkergarten program which is an outdoor, nature-based play program. Besides being a pre-K teacher, he is also a father of 2 boys, an advocate for play, and a toy enthusiast. He enjoys bringing in new toys and materials for his students to explore and sharing his child development knowledge and activities with parents and teachers. To learn more about Andy check out his Instagram, his classroom account, or support his Donors Choose projects.
Clixo x Mr. Andy is a series of creative activity ideas developed by Mr. Andy for Clixo to help parents and kids get even more fun out of their Clixo packs. Try out some these activities in your play group today and share pictures with us! We’d love to see it! 🙂