This simple afternoon-sun activity requires only two craft supplies: a white crayon and a piece of black paper, plus toys! ☀️ 🖍️
Shadow Art with Kids
We started by collecting all the toys we thought would make a great shadow. This was A LOT, so we eventually simplified our collection to include just animals! Our favorites were the tiger and the large dinosaur!
Next, trace your favorite animal. When you’re done tracing, go back and add details such as stripes, spots, or teeth. Make sure to create an environment for your animal, too. Our tiger is stalking prey in the grasslands.
The timing makes all the difference for this activity.
A clear day, obviously, is best. My kids had VERY little patience for clouds. ☁️
Also, we found that the late afternoon sun creates the best shadows. Although, our youngest still just enjoyed tracing around her toys, as she didn’t care much about the shadow part.
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Guide your children to trace their toy from the same side as the shadow, or they’ll literally cover their toy’s shadow. We found that our kids needed to be reminded of this tip a few times!
Change it up:
Although we love the dramatic look of white crayons on black paper, try tracing with colorful markers or crayons on a large sheet of white paper, too. Remember to experiment with scale (size) and bright colors; they add variety!
Are you stuck inside on a rainy day, or even having a particularly rainy week or season?
If your weather is not cooperating, try adapting this outdoor Toy Shadow Tracing activity to an indoor activity using a bright lamp inside your home instead of waiting for the perfect sunshine and shadows outside. If the day is bright but you’re looking for an indoor activity, simply sit by a sunny window to cast your shadows.
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Does your kiddo love DINOSAURS?
If the answer is a roaring “YES!” then you might be interested in these other dinosaur-centric activities, reviews, and room decor!
- If you enjoyed Shadow Tracing Toys, then you’ll love our How to Make Wearable Dinosaur Feet for Crafty Kids activity, too. Create your very own dinosaur feet with just three craft supplies: markers, cardboard, scissors and optional pipe cleaners.
- We share kids thoughts about of favorite LEGO sets on our blog, and many of these reviewed LEGO sets include dinosaurs and dragons. Take a look – you might just find your next gift idea!
- Our shop features adorable window and wall decals built from colorful bricks and designed from children’s drawings. We even have a kid-drawn dinosaur room decal.