Are you looking for a summer science activity? Would you like something easy to set up that will keep your kids playing for a while? I have three sun investigations to share with you.
Summer Science for Kids: 3 Sun Investigations
Let’s start with the one that has wait time. You’ll need construction paper and some random objects. Choose objects that won’t blow away in the wind.
Put the construction paper on the ground or on a table in the sun. Place the objects on top of the construction paper. Use enough objects to weigh the paper down. You could also tape leaves or flowers to the paper to keep them from blowing away.
Wait 2-4 hours.
Remove the objects and reveal the prints.
The sun fades the construction paper. The objects block the sun and keep the original color.
There is special paper that works more quickly and turns out much brighter. Look for a sun art paper kit at the craft store if you’re interested in creating more.
For this activity, you’ll need chalk and a sunny place to draw outside.
Have your child stand still. Trace their shadow. Have them stand in a different position and trace their shadow again. Let them trace your shadow, too.
Talk about where the sun is and how big the shadows are. You could even draw your shadow in the same spot during different times of the day. What happens to your shadow as the day goes on?
Feel free to hand over the chalk to your child and let them continue drawing on their own.
Blocks and Shadows
Our last sun investigation is an invitation to play. That means you set it up and invite your child to play. You may want to show your child what to do at first. Then, back away and let them play.
You’ll need blocks and chalk and a sunny place to draw outside.
Build a tower or ask your child to build a tower.
Show your child how to trace the shadow of the tower.
You could add other things to be traced (like toy animals). Can you recognize what object made the shadows?
After a while, my 6-year-old stopped using the chalk and just continued to create with the blocks. Totally fine. Let them play.
The goal of these investigations is to let your child explore how shadows are made.