Toddler Adventures: Casting a Fun Shadow

Quinn's Swing Shadow

Quinn’s Pointing to the Tree Shadow

There are so many wonderful experiences involved with having a toddler. One of them is the ability to experience somewhat of a second childhood through them . As adults, we tend to get so caught up in the “important” tasks of life and just don’t have time to truly appreciate our surroundings or take  the daily occurrences of life for granted. Thankfully, my little girl slows me down, helps me to reminisce and take pleasure in those childhood moments of wonderment. Since she was about sixteen months or so, Quinn has become fascinated with her shadow. Her face will light up as she points to it and says, “Shadow!.” She’ll jump around, giggle and run to see if it is moving with her. Last week, we had a lovely March day, and she was able to go outside and get in the swing. She then noticed her shadow was much larger than usual and that the tree had a shadow too. My little girl became so excited, pointed to it saying, “Tree shadow!” I just had to take her picture as I recalled how I loved looking at my shadow and the shadows of other objects to see how big or small they would get throughout the course of the day. I can’t wait to do shadow puppets and animals with her.  Even one of my favorite poems that I teach in my Children’s Literature class is called “My Shadow” by Robert Louis Stevenson. I hope it will be one of hers too. Here’s the poem below:

My Shadow

Robert Louis Stevenson, 18501894
I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me,
And what can be the use of him is more than I can see.
He is very, very like me from the heels up to the head;
And I see him jump before me, when I jump into my bed.
The funniest thing about him is the way he likes to grow—
Not at all like proper children, which is always very slow;
For he sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball,
And he sometimes gets so little that there’s none of him at all.
He hasn’t got a notion of how children ought to play,
And can only make a fool of me in every sort of way.
He stays so close beside me, he’s a coward you can see;
I’d think shame to stick to nursie as that shadow sticks to me!
One morning, very early, before the sun was up,
I rose and found the shining dew on every buttercup;
But my lazy little shadow, like an arrant sleepy-head,
Had stayed at home behind me and was fast asleep in bed.

Source: The Golden Book of Poetry (1947)

All the best,


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