Chalk Shadow Drawings | Still Playing School

Chalk Shadow Drawings

Sidewalk chalk is one of our favorite materials for playful learning! On a sunny day you can take it outside and experiment with shadows while teaching young kids about emotions, spatial relationships, social cues, body language, role playing, and more!

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A few weeks ago we were visiting my family where I grew up on the other side of the state. My sister bought the kids a container of sidewalk chalk but once we opened it with my hilarious family around we came up with the best activity!

Someone drew a smiley face on the ground and someone else was standing close enough to move so that their shadow shared the same facial expression! Soon we were all drawing simple faces and posing together!

I love that you can see my brother and me in this photo figuring out the process behind this activity. I also really, really love that he is wearing his baby Violet memorial wristband! 

This idea is fantastic for teaching kids to identify emotions! As you model how to properly draw the details of a faces, name the parts, too.

Summer Preschool Theme 

"Look, I made my mouth happy! How can you draw your mouth to look sad? Can we make a silly face, too?"

You can discuss distinguishing personal characteristics. Gramps added his glasses and mustache! He also created antennae with his fingers! 

For the littlest learners, this is a fantastic challenge in lining up their bodies so their shadows fall correctly. They are learning spacial relationships as they move around. You could also draw the faces and experiment with them at different times of the day as the sun moves and changes our shadows, too!

Before long our toddler was participating with accuracy! He even said, "Look, Momma, I angry!" This is a great prompt for role playing and discussing emotions. 

"What might have made you angry? What would you say if you were mad?"

Read these other ideas for CHALK from the Playful Preschool team:

Chalk Letter Writing from Learning 2 Walk

Alphabet Activities: Chalk Road by Growing Book by Book

Chalk Painting Letters from Mom Inspired Life

Chalk Paint from Tiny Tots Adventure

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  1. I love this - I am going to have to pave over some of our garden just so we can do it (it's already planned but I want it done now!)

  2. We will be trying this out! It looks like so much fun. I can't wait!

  3. This is so fun!! I love that the whole family was involved. :)

  4. I love that everyone was involved. Cool way to use your shadows!

  5. such a good idea! I have a box full of chalk and had no idea what to do!

  6. I love exploring shadows with kids! I've never thought to use chalk - what a WONDERFUL idea! Nice post!

  7. I remember I was so excited when we did this. Such a great idea and a lot of fun! So simple, but a blast. I almost always wear my Violet bracelet, but especially during holidays and family get togethers. She may not be there physically, but she is there and joins in on the fun with us.