Learning about Shadows with The Gruffalo’s Child

Julia Donaldson is our featured author this month for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. We have read several books by Julia Donaldson. {Affiliate links are included in this post. Thanks for supporting Inspiration Laboratories.} My son’s favorites are What the Ladybug Heard,  Stick Man, and The Gruffalo’s Child. The Gruffalo’s Child tops the list by far. We used the story to learn about shadows.

Learning about Shadows with The Gruffalo's Child

The Gruffalo’s Child

The Gruffalo’s Child is the sequel to The Gruffalo. The Gruffalo tells his daughter not to go into the woods because she’ll run into the Big Bad Mouse. One night, she decides to go look for him anyway. She meets the snake, the owl, and the fox {from the original book}, but starts to get discouraged. She says, “I don’t believe in the Big Bad Mouse.” She happens upon a small mouse and plans to eat him for a midnight snack. The mouse convinces her to let him go so he can get his friend. The mouse climbs up on a tree and casts a shadow on the snow. Oh no, the Big Bad Mouse! The Gruffalo’s child runs away. The mouse has once again outsmarted a Gruffalo.

Aiden loves this book. He requests to read it pretty much every day since we checked it out from the library. It’s due to go back, so I think this is a book we’ll have to buy.

Learning about Shadows

The giant mouse at the end of The Gruffalo’s Child can be a bit scary. The first time we read it, Aiden was worried about the Gruffalo’s reaction. She was so scared, she ran away. I took the opportunity to teach Aiden about shadows. I pointed out how the giant shadow on the ground was made by the little mouse. The moonlight is blocked by the mouse and causes a shadow to fall to the ground.

Exploring Shadows Outside

On a walk outside, we talked about the shadows on the ground. Aiden had his bunny ears on, so they made for a cute shadow.

Learning About Shadows

We turned the corner and Aiden realized he could no longer see his shadow. I had him turn around. “There it is!” he exclaimed.

I explained to him how shadows are made when the sun shines down on the ground. I grabbed a stick.

Learning About Shadows

When something blocks the sun’s light, it makes a shadow. I showed him how the sunlight shone on the ground around the stick. The stick is in the way of the light, so there’s a shadow.

We talked about how his shadow would always be on the opposite side of where the sun is in the sky. If the sun is in front of you, your shadow will be behind you. If the sun is behind you, your shadow will be in front of you.

Exploring Shadows with the Mouse

We’re partnering with our friends at The Gruffalo this month. They sent us a box of goodies to check out. {You’ll see a review and giveaway next week.} In our box was this adorable Mouse Bean Bag.

Bean Bag Mouse from The Gruffalo's Child

We grabbed a flashlight, a pom pom, some tape, and the mouse and headed to a dark hallway. We made shadows on the wall with the mouse. Aiden explored how the size of the mouse shadow changed as he moved the mouse away from the flashlight.

Learning about Shadows

We taped a pom pom to the mouse’s arm to represent the nut the mouse carried in the story.

Learning about Shadows

You can read more about how we explored shadows in this shadow play science post.

Virtual Book Club for Kids Co-Hosts

Here are the blogs co-hosting the Virtual Book Club for Kids. Be sure to see what Julia Donaldson books and activities they chose. You can also check out the group’s Facebook page.

Toddler Approved – Rainy Day Mum – Adventures in Reading with Kids – 3 Dinosaurs – Royal Baloo – The Educators’ Spin On It – Inspiration Laboratories – Pleasantest Thing – Edventures with Kids – Two Big Two Little Playing With Words 365 – Kitchen Counter Chronicles – Outlaw Mom – Mommy and Me Book Club – Crafty Moms Share – No Twiddle Twaddle – The Good Long Road – Ready. Set. Read 2 Me – Reading Confetti – Mama Smiles– Juggling with Kids– Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas – Creekside Learning – Creative Family Fun – The Usual Mayhem –Teach Preschool – PlayDrMom – CraftoArt – Here Come the Girls – Being a Conscious Parent – Smiling like Sunshine – Crayon Freckles – Train Up a ChildSmile Play LearnEnchanted Homeschooling MomCoffee Cups and CrayonsHaving Fun at Chelle’s House – Love, Play, LearnJuggling With KidsMotherhood on a Dime – Growing Book by Book – This Reading Mama – Fantastic Fun and Learning


Virtual Book Club for Kids
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