Creativity doesn’t require a ton of art supplies. In fact, some days, all your need is the sun, a shadow, and a way of capturing that shadow.
Shadow art is a fun STEAM activity that is sure to inspire your little ones. The best time of day to do it? Whenever the sun is out and casting its shadow reading for a shadow drawing…
Here are some of our favorite ways of making art with shadows:
Making Shadow Art & Shadow Drawings with Kids
The challenge with how to draw a shadow is that you need the shadow to be cast by the subject of the drawing, but then your shadow (or your child’s shadow) can’t obscure that during the drawing process. Look at the example above for inspiration. The toys are all lined up closer to the sun than the child tracing the shadow.
Creating Shadow Art with Favorite Toys
Start this craft by having your kids line up all their favorite toys outside. You can even tell your kids that the toys are having a parade. Finish getting the craft ready by putting a piece of white paper on the ground behind each toy. Then, challenge your kiddos to trace the shadow on the paper before the sun moves.
Once they’re done tracing the shadow, it’s like they made their own coloring page. The kids will also get a kick out of drawing their favorite toys.
Drawing Portrait Silhouette Art
For this shadow art project, tape a piece of paper to the wall. Then have one of your kids sit with their face in profile. Setup a flashlight to create a shadow of your kiddo’s profile and have another trace the shadow on the paper. Have them finish the project by cutting the shadow out of the piece of paper and gluing it to a colored piece of paper for a new backdrop. This can be a wonderful keepsake.
Chalk Shadow Art
My kids love chasing their shadows and seeing how they change depending on the light and their location on the sidewalk. This is one reason shadow art is considered a STEAM activity; your kiddos are learning how shadows are created. Help them chase their shadows by tracing their shadow with sidewalk chalk. They can then fill in the outlines with chalk or chalk paint.
Sculptures with Shadows
After the kids create a small statue of an animal or person using tin foil, attach the sculpture to a piece of a paper. Then, encourage your kiddo to trace and color the shadow in to complete the masterpiece. By adding the shadow to the craft, they’re adding dimension to their sculpture.
Capture Nature with Shadow Art
The shadows trees make with their trunks and branches can be pretty beautiful. Lay out a long piece of paper next to a tree on a sunny day and watch your kiddo create tree shapes by outlining the shadow.
The wonderful thing about shadow art? You can do it with just about any object and just about any season, as long as the sun is out.
Photograph Shadow Art
Grab your camera and capture your child and their shadow. There are so many creative ways that kids interact with that dark figure that follows them everywhere and getting a snapshot of the fun can be a great memory to keep forever…even when the shadow goes to bed.
More Shadow Fun & Art from Kids Activities Blog
- Make these easy shadow puppets for more shadow play.
- Watch how this cat is scared of his own shadow!
- Or watch this little girl is scared of her own shadow.
- These stencils remind me of the shadow art and can be really cool painting ideas for kids.
- We have 100s of more kids art ideas…there is something you can create today!
- If you are looking for more cool drawings to create, we have some really awesome tutorials from a teen artist.
- Or check out our really easy series of simple how to draw tutorials that you can print and follow…even the youngest artist can get started with these easy art lessons.
Which shadow art technique are you going to try first?