Lights and shadows! (and silhouettes)
How mysterious and magical to a preschooler... to anybody really.
We had a lot of activities available to try out this week. The most popular was our Shadow Theater, a last minute throw together sort of idea. The local children's festival this past winter featured a shadow puppet screen. It was a huge hit and I've been wanting to create something like it since then. I knew I needed some sort of frame and a screen. I thought about our doll bed that was in the basement. The bottom had been broken out and it had been set aside until it could get repaired.
From there I just used some thin white paper and packing tape.
The children and I had to do a lot of trial and error experimenting to figure out where to put the light and how close the objects had to be. We used a box to hold the flashlight steady, but the next day was so sunny that window worked just fine!
The preschoolers really enjoyed trying out different scenes.
We found quite a few books on our shelf that were related to dark, light and silhouettes (our new favorite word).
Some of the older kids created clay sculptures and
then traced the shadows.
Our Light Table
A couple years ago I purchased a pieces of clear Plexiglas (I left the white protective film on) and occasionally I turn our train table into a light table. I use blocks around the inside edges as a lip to hold the surface up. This year I bought a rope light after seeing some beautiful pictures of transient art from "Stimulating Learning with Rachel". The lighting worked much better and we were able to experiment with different materials throughout the week.
At some point I hope to purchase a Light Table from Reflections Light Boxes. They have beautiful quality tables and the couple who owns the company and builds them are so sweet! I returned to their booth many times at the NAEYC conference last year and still regret not taking one home with me without the shipping costs. :)