Woodlands Park Nursery School & Children's Centre

Woodlands Park Nursery School & Children's Centre


Exploring Light Colour and Shadow with Resident Artist Cath Rive at Woodlands Park

Autumn is a time of year when the dark nights are long.  Cultural events, celebrations and festivals such as Bonfire Night, Diwali and Christmas happen in this term.  These festivals and celebrations focus on light: Bonfire night with fire and fireworks lighting up the dark night sky; Diwali the Hindu festival of light where homes are filled with light; and Christmas with people decorating their homes with fairy lights and sparkly and reflective materials. This autumn term with resident artist Cath Rive children in Blue Room have been exploring light, shadow and colour.

Through their experiences and explorations the children are developing their knowledge of the world and understanding how it works.

Using torches the children can experience and explore the dark. They discover they can control the beam of light by shining it on objects, the walls and the ceiling. They can shine the torch light on to the wall and make their torch beams change size. Light travels in straight lines. As a beam of light travels away from a torch it will spread out. By moving the torch light closer to the wall the children will notice their torch beam is smaller. By moving further away the torch beam is bigger.


Using the torches the children discover the shadow of the dinosaur. They discovered when they shine the light on the dinosaur they can manipulate the size and shape of the dinosaur shadow.

Using an overhead projector they can discover how different materials behave in front of the light. They OHP enables the children to explore scale and manipulate their own shadow. By placing themselves in front of the light of the OHP and moving closer and further way from the light source the children discover they can change the size of their shadow. Light does not travel through them, their bodies are opaque.  With props and objects the children experiment and can transform their shadow.


How can you make your shadow hands touch the ceiling?

Yigit, Daniel and Mohammed transform their shadows with props

Holding objects in front of the light of the OHP and placing objects on to the OHP the children are discovering how different materials behave in front of the light. Light can pass through some objects but it is blocked by others.  Arranging objects on the OHP offers children the opportunity to explore scale, pattern, shape and form. As they make choices and explore the possibilities, their critical thinking, problem solving and design skills flourish.

The opportunity to explore materials in different combinations enables children to extend their imaginations.


Mila has arranged these objects on the OHP she describes the pattern ‘dots’

Suzara Interacts with the projection of her marks 

‘It’s green, jungle and spiders’


Eva Rose and Laila choose to make the wall ‘blue and yellow.’

Sofia manipulates her shadow.


‘Red like fire’ Laila

Brooklyn selects a makes mark on a yellow acetate on the projector. He moves into the projection  and counts his marks