Shadow Science Sensory Play for Kids

It’s time to turn off the lights and explore shadows and the sense of sight. There are so many sense of touch activities, it is…


It’s time to turn off the lights and explore shadows and the sense of sight. There are so many sense of touch activities, it is nice to switch things up a bit. All you need is a flashlight and small toys (which I am guessing you have plenty of). The idea was inspired by Toddler Tales Forest Shadows activity where she shares a fun song and craft to go along with the activity. Stop by to see who inspired us (Toddler Tales)!

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My kiddos loved this activity and seemed to loose all fears of the dark (at least during the activity). One flashlight would work for this activity but both of my kiddos needed to have one in their hands, so just be warned you may be scrambling to find more flashlights. Just to mention, this was a great quiet activity to do before bedtime. 

Small toys
Blank wall or poster board
Cardboard box (optional) We cut out a cardboard box to make a stage for our toys.
Colored plastic (optional)

1.  Turn off the lights, turn on the flashlight and place toys in front of the flashlight to create a shadow on the wall or board.

Fun things to try, observe, and talk about:

  • Move the toy toward the light
  • Move the toy away from the light
  • Add multiple toys in front of the light to create a mega shadow
  • Use two flashlights to create two shadows
  • Move the flashlight to each side of the toy
  • Put different colors of clear plastic in front of the flashlight (example, soda bottle, lid, cellophane) 
  • Use shadows and toys to tell a story using the shadows
  • Secretly place an animal in front of the flashlight and let kiddos guess what animal it is
    • Point out recognizable features, like trunk, long neck, tail…
First thing you do when handed a flashlight is check it out, even if blinded for a few minutes after! Please try and keep your kiddo from staring at the light, it’s no good for eyes.
Teamwork putting animals in front of the light.
Look how big our zebra looks when he is farthest away from the light.

Have a great day and a fun time in the dark!

Don’t forget to check out more of our Sensory Activities. Here is one of our favorites, 
Ivory Soap Blowup, science and sensory mixed together for an amazing activity! 

If you love kids, we have more fun ideas for you! Join our followers to make sure you catch the next new & exciting kids craft, activity, or recipe. 

Thanks for visiting, Love-Katie & the Kiddos 


  1. I absolutely love shadow play and I haven't done this for awhile with my girls. Thanks for the reminder – I'll have to set this up sometime soon.

    Thanks for sharing (and for linking up to the #SHINEbloghop)!

    Wishing you a lovely day.

    1. Hi Jennifer, thanks so much. Shadows are so fun and such an easy activity to put together. Have a fun day 🙂

    1. Hi Susen, thanks so much for visiting and for the love 🙂 Have a great day!

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