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Shadows are so fun for toddlers! Go outside on a sunny day and point out their shadow for some guaranteed fun. In this shadow art with preschoolers activity, we will make art with shadows to celebrate the fun of summer!

This is part of our Super Summertime Activity Plans, so go check those out for more Summer Fun!

(As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on the links, you will not pay any extra, but I will earn a small commission that will help us finance our creative life. Thanks!)

what you need for shadow art with preschoolers:

  • Paint (we used tempera cakes)
  • Brushes and assorted painting tools
  • Painting paper
  • Animal of choice
  • Black marker or paint
paint, brushes and paper for art with preschoolers

How to do shadow art with preschoolers:

Before beginning, talk about shadows and if possible take a trip outside to look at your little ones shadow.

make the background.

First we will make the background for our shadows.

Give your little one the freedom to use whatever colors they want for their background. Encourage them to experiment with color and texture by using different tools to fill up the whole page with color.

toddler painting background with paint for art with preschoolers

When they are finished, set it aside to dry completely. You could work on something like the summer day painting in our Super Summertime Activity Plans while waiting if desired.

toddler tracing shadow of animal for art with preschoolers

make the shadows.

Now it’s time to take the art outside. Set the paper in a place where it is in full sun. Then, set the little ones animal of choice next to the paper, making sure it casts its shadow on the paper.

If needed, move the paper at different angles or the animal at different angles to ensure the shadow is properly visible.

Using the black marker or paint, fill in the shadow that is cast on the paper.

*Remember to consider the coloring abilities of each child. Some may fill in the shapes completely. Others may make scribbles. The point is they try to color within the shadow cast.

finish and enjoy!

Let your little one add more shadows if they like and then they can add any other finishing touches to their artwork!

(As you can see in the first example, the shadows aren’t easy to discern the animal. However, they tried to color within the shape and that was the point. The second example is much easier to discern. Each child will complete the project in a different way and that is ok!)

shadow art with preschoolers

did you love this art with preschoolers project? Check out some of our other favorites!

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