Time and Relative Dimensions in Groundhog Day

It can be very difficult to explain the passing of time to a young child. Time, in a general sense, can be difficult to understand completely. Its effects over a single day, however, can be easier to explain and illustrate to your child with the aid of the sun and a shadow.

Learning About Shadows - Motherhood CommunityYesterday was Groundhog Day, which inspired us to talk about shadows and how they change throughout the day and in different environments. As the earth revolves around the sun and its cycle continues, it can be fun to mark a space in the earth that your child is aware of and, using a dowel or other stick-like measure device, make a tool for measure the time/shadow. When you first begin, place your measuring tool in the dirt. Show your child the direction the shadow of that object and place a marker in the area where the shadow lays at that time. Leave the area and have some fun with your child elsewhere (Might I suggest playing catch or working with puzzles?) and return about thirty minutes later. At this point in the afternoon you should see a marked difference in the location of your marker and the current location of the shadow. Now you can explain to your child how time passes and show them how the marker moved from the previous time till the present.

There’s an excellent demonstration of a changing shadow at National Schools’ Observatory.

Me and My Shadow

If you and your child enjoy arts and crafts, you can document the experiment with photographs of your child and their shadow throughout the day. Once you’re finished, create a poster board or memory book to look back on over time.

Special thanks to my good friend Judi for today’s activity!

Here are my favorite posts from last week:

Introducing my Co-hosts!

Geeky Educational Link Up Hosts
I co-host the Geeky Educational Link Up along with some great writers. You can find out a bit more about each co-host by reading our bios over at More Than A Coupon Queen, the host site. Take a look at their blogs each week. Some of these blogs also post some great geek projects and Science projects! Rules of the Galactic Highway from More Than A Coupon Queen


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