Shadows and shade

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

These activities using shade and silhouettes will raise awareness of staying safe in the sun

Shadow on the ground


Activities in this article:

  1. Play safe in the sun
  2. Sun or shade
  3. Guess the shadow


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1. Play safe in the sun

Action game about gathering items to wear or hold in the sun

Physical Development

Movement and Space

Development Matters: Manage body to create intended movements (22–36 months); go backwards and sideways as well as forwards (40–60+ months).

Early Learning Goal: Move with confidence, imagination and in safety.

Group size: Whole group.

What you need

Space for the children to move freely and safely; large boxes or containers; a selection of sunny day props, for example, hats, T-shirts, sun-cream, sunglasses, parasols or umbrellas and water bottles.

What to do

Invite children to join in an action game based on gathering items to wear or hold so they can play safely in the sun. Arrange the children in two or more teams and divide the sunny props equally, by quantity and type of object, into containers, so there is a box for each group. Provide each team with a large teddy and a box of sunny day items. Position the box of items a suitable distance away from the teddy. Ask teams to stand with their teddy.

On command, the first player from each team should move as quickly as possible towards the box. They should select one item from the box to bring back for teddy to wear or hold. When teddy is wearing or holding the item, the second player should repeat the process by running to the box and selecting a second item for teddy to wear or hold. Continue until the box is empty. The first team to get teddy ready with all the clothes and props is the winner.

Use the activity to inspire discussion about how to take care in the sun. Talk about the meaning of the phrase ‘slip, slop, slap’, for example, slip on a T-shirt, slop on some sun-cream and slap on a hat.

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