Shadow Box Scarf Twirling and Jumping

Icon of a horse and dog puppets used at Bright Horizons childcare

Learning Value:

This activity promotes development and learning by encouraging children to use large muscles to move and balance own body.

Materials Needed:

  • Box
  • Flashlight
  • Light colored wall or light color sheet hanging on the wall
  • Dance music
  • Scarves or Ribbons

Participants: This activity is intended for adult/child interaction and ongoing supervision.


  1. Place an open box on its side and cut out a hole through the bottom of the box, close to the floor, big enough for the flashlight to shine through.
  2. Place the box with the flashlight turned on facing the light-colored wall or sheet. Turn the lights in the room off. (A darker room makes better shadows but it is fine to have some light so you can move safely.)
  3. Give your toddler some scarves or ribbons and show them how to turn in circles and jump as they watch their shadow do the same actions.

Extension: Video record your child and show them the recording after. Have a conversation about the shadows.

Bright Horizons
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Bright Horizons
Bright Horizons
In 1986, our founders saw that child care was an enormous obstacle for working parents. On-site centers became one way we responded to help employees – and organizations -- work better. Today we offer child care, elder care, and help for education and careers -- tools used by more than 1,000 of the world’s top employers and that power many of the world's best brands
Icon of a horse and dog puppets used at Bright Horizons childcare