Deirdre Smith writes/owns JDaniel4’s Mom. After twenty years as a elementary school and technology resource teacher in Northern Virginia, she became a stay at home mom in upstate South Carolina. Her blog features ways she and her 4 year old are exploring learning, crafting, creating healthy meals and living life to its fullest.
Every Groundhog’s Day we wait eagerly to see if a groundhog in Puxsutawney Pennsylvania named Phil will see his shadow. Shadows or silhouettes are not only good predictors of the weather they are great for working on visual discrimination skills and picture clues.
Recently my son and I worked with a groundhog and other animal shadows creating an animals shadow activity using an egg carton painted to replicated a piece of ground filled with animal burrows, animal stick puppets and some animal shadow cards.
We started the activity by painting an old cardboard egg carton brown and poking holes in between the egg sections to hold the puppets.
I created the animals for the puppets and created shadows of the animals using construction paper and magic markers. I cut out the shapes of the animals and their shadows at the same time by layering a piece of black paper behind each piece of colored construction paper I needed for the each animal.
How did we play the game?
The first matching game involved matching the shadows to the puppets. We talked about how the beaver was a little like the groundhog. The beaver’s tail helped us sort out with shadow was his. The mouse and the cat were really easy to figure out. I mixed the puppets up a couple of times and my son had to rearrange the shadow cards to match the new order of the puppets.
Then we took the puppets out of their stand and matched them to their shadow cards. We had fun making the puppets try to squeeze into another animals shadows. It opened up a discussion on how each shadow is unique and just what makes each shadow unique.