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Summer Activity Shadow drawings

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As the summer holidays are upon us, we want to share some activities each week to keep you and your children entertained and encourage you to go outside and experience the beautiful nature we have around us! Whether you live in the city, countryside or somewhere in between, they can all be done with things you'll likely have at home or that can be found easily nearby.

Shadow Drawings

This is a classic activity that is ideal for lovely sunny days outside, whether it's a balcony, garden or park. You can do it with things you already have at home so it's great to grab for a few minutes peace as the summer holiday 'boredom' might be kicking it!

Things you'll need:

  • Animal figures
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Colouring pencils, crayons or pens

What to do:

Gather up the things you'll need and head outside on a sunny day (if it's not sunny yet, see our top tips below!).

  1. First, set up the paper on a flat surface and position your animal figure so that the shadow falls across the paper.
  2. Using a pen or plain pencil, trace the outline of the animal on the shadowy area, creating an image of the animal on the paper from it's shadow.
  3. Colour in the animal drawing and create fun pictures - why not make a farmyard scene and trace a couple of animals onto the same page?

Top tips:

  • If the sun isn't out when you want to complete this activity, it can be done inside or outside using a lamp, torch or even phone light! Just point the light towards the paper with the animal in-between to cast a shadow.
  • Younger children might struggle with tracing animals, you could try other items such as an apple (to practise circles) or a small box (squares), learning about shapes as you go.
  • If you find the animals keep being knocked over as you trace them, try placing them on a box higher up, but position the paper so the shadow still casts onto the paper.
  • You could try reversing the colours, so using white chalk on black paper instead and shading the shadow rather than just the outline.
  • Try the shadow drawings at different times of the day to see how it changes the shape of the animal. We found the best drawings were early morning or later in the afternoon - the midday sun was too high to cast the full shape of the animal.
  • Create pictures and scenes out of your animal shadow drawings - why not re-create your Feather Down stay, hideaway and all!

We'd love to see your images, share them with us on social media with the tag #OurFDSummer!