Shadows are formed when light cannot pass through an object. As light moves in a straight line, shadows are the same shape as the object making the shadow.
To demonstrate this you can make shadow puppets. We made a Christmas tree puppet and some different shapes to put on the top.
If this isn’t quite what you’re looking for try one of my other Christmas science experiments for kids!
Christmas Shadow Puppets
What you need
- straws or lolly sticks
- torch or light
- Glitter and sparkles
- Draw a tree shape onto some cardboard, and cut it out.
- Attach the tree to a lollypop stick or straw.
- Decorate if you wish.
- In a dark room hold the shadow puppet against a wall and shine the torch or a light at them.
- You should see the shadow on the wall.
Do you like our Christmas tree and star decorations?
Try moving the puppet further from the wall to make the shadow bigger.
Shadows – A Real Life Example
Shadows are formed during an eclipse of the sun. An eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, casting a shadow over Earth. If the shadow blocks out all the light from the sun, it becomes dark during the day.
More light experiments for kids
I LOVE this colourful light box idea from Teach Beside Me.
Make arrows change direction using just water and a glass. This cool trick uses refraction ( making light bend ). The water acts like a convex lens. It’s great fun and you can experiment with words and images which will reverse too!
Create a maze of light using a torch and mirrors! This could be set up as a challenge where children have to use a set number of mirrors to bend the light from a torch around a specific path.