Shadow Shadow – Research-Backed, At-Home Activities – Bay Area Discovery Museum

Shadow, Shadow

There are times when kids imitate everything we do – just like a real-life shadow! In this activity, your child has fun following every move you make. Then, you’ll switch roles to become their shadow and find out what you can learn from them!

Learning Goals

  • Learn to Collaborate

Materials Needed

  • No materials – just your bodies!


  • To start out, explain to your child that you’ll be taking the role of the “leader” and they’ll be your “shadow.
  • As you move around, challenge your child to continuously follow every move you make – without running into you!
  • Leaders can make big and funny movements to add to the difficulty of the game, such as walking, fast walking, crawling, skipping, or running.
  • Shadows should do their best to avoid running into the leader, which means thinking about and practicing balance, distance and pacing while copying the leader’s movements.
  • After a few minutes, switch roles! Your child will become the leader, and you’ll be their shadow.

Tips for Adults

  • Emphasize the empathy this activity cultivates by talking to your child about what if felt like to be someone else’s “shadow.” What did they notice about the person they were following? What are some other ways of “shadowing” someone else?
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Bay Area Discovery Museum is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to providing children with research-backed early learning experiences that inspire creative problem solving. We need your help now more than ever.

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