The winter solstice marks a moment in time when half of Earth is tilted the farthest away from the sun. Which also results in the shortest day of the year and signifies the beginning of Winter. Although the shorter days also mean longer periods of darkness we have been exploring light in our Studio.

The Activity

To kick off our light play we experimented with shadows and created shadow puppets. Shadow puppets can be quick and easy or involve great details. All you need is paper and a light source, we used flashlights and a light projector.

First, with the paper visitors decided what shape they wanted to create, hearts have been very popular followed by animals. Scissors and hole punchers were available to visitors to cut out their shape and add details.

Next, to add a little color. We used cellophane sheets to attach to the silhouette shape. Then added a stick.

Last, visitors tested out their puppets.

They noticed how much bigger the shape they created got when put in front of the light projector. Visitors commented on the colors and how they blended together when light was shone through. Some of our youngest visitors explored the light and how they could manipulate it with their own body, they were casting shadows of themselves!

We will continue to explore light at our Sparks workshops for the month of December.

Coming up we will be working on creating paper bag lanterns. You can make one for you and one to add to an art installation for the Tacoma Light Trail that runs from December 31st-January 14th.

Upcoming Sparks Workshops:

Thursday, December 21 from 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Friday, December 22 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Friday, December 29 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.

Museum Fun Days:

Paper Lantern Making

December 14 – December 18 in Becka’s Studio at the Children’s Museum of Tacoma.