Create beautiful shadow art for kids. Simply trace any pattern of shadow and light on paper, then paint it.
Updated May 2023
This is such a simple art activity. Yet so absorbing. And so beautiful.
We simply traced the pattern of shadow and light made by the morning sun streaming through the sheer floral curtains in our dining room window. And then painted our shadow tracings.
You could trace any shadow, by the way—no need for special curtains.
We’ve done shadow tracing before by setting up a bouquet of flowers between the sunlight and the paper. You could also set up a lamp as a light source and place your object between the light and the paper. Or go outside and trace your body onto the sidewalk with chalk.
Shadow Art for Kids
- Watercolor paper (we used 12 x 18″)
- Permanent pen or marker
- A shadow!
- Watercolor paint (we used liquid watercolor paint in special Aqua-Flo watercolor brushes, but you can also use a watercolor palette)
- Metallic markers (optional)
- Set up for shadow art
Tape your watercolor paper to the table to hold it in place as you trace.
Either arrange the paper first where there is a nice shadow (from the window, for example) or arrange an interesting object and a lamp or other light source to create a shadow on your paper.
- Trace the light
Trace the light and shadow shapes with a pen.
- Paint the shadow drawing
Paint your shadow art with watercolors if you’d like.
- Trace more shadows (optional)
Trace more shadows over your painted shadow art with a metallic marker.
This is such a fun and simple drawing activity, and the results are lovely!
More Drawing Activities
- How to Draw Feathers for Kids
- 12 Kids’ Drawing Games for Creative Fun
- Observational Drawing for Kids
- Self Portrait Body Tracing Art
- The Exquisite Corpse Drawing Game
- Tracing Shapes for Kids Art
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