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STEM Light and Shadow Play

Updated: Aug 22, 2022

After taking Dr. Louisa Penfold’s Light, Shadow, & Reflection workshop a couple of weeks ago it has continued to ignite inspiration for new open ended play invitations. Last time we explored Rainbows, this time around I wanted to set up exploring light and shadow play with transparent and translucent materials.

Light and shadow experiences can begin with a variety of materials. Anything that is transparent, translucent, or lights up to be a source of exploration and creation. To set this space up I placed a light table, light up glow cylinders, tea lights, woodland cube chairs, glow construction blocks, flash lights, translucent buildings blocks, translucent shapes, color paddles, sakkaro geometry blocks, dinosaur figurines, and party cups.

Light and shadows are all around us and from birth and children pay a great deal of attention to them due to its ever evolving magical nature. The presence of light and shadow instantly makes a child curious whether they are chasing a shadow, using a flash light, exploring with blocks, due to the fact that they are always drawn to light and their imagination truly becomes limitless in this type of play where a child's creativity is ignited and honored.

When children are left to explore light and shadows, they are intrigued by the many interesting possibilities with the materials.Through playing with light and shadows from infancy throughout early childhood, they are able to explore a whole range of theories and enhance so much of their development. They are fascinated and deeply engaged by the interplay of the shapes, patterns, shadows, effects, spacing, imagery, light, sizes, and colors. Let the magic of light and shadows continue to enamor the child!

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