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  • Writer's pictureGHF CAT Team

Hidden Shadows

Use shadow drawings to think about how to see things from another point of view.

What you’ll need: Paper, something to draw with, objects of various shapes like a toy dinosaur, a potted plant, and a hairbrush - choose your own.

What’s it for?

This activity will explore how things change when you look at them in a different way. This can help you to understand why you might not always agree with the people around you, and help you to listen to their point of view or see things in a new way.

Check In:

Notice how you’re feeling right now. Close your eyes and notice what’s going on inside your mind and body.

  • How are you feeling?

  • What are you thinking?

  • How does your body feel?


  • You are going to make drawings by tracing the shadows of the objects you’ve gathered. You will need a strong light, so find a spot of sunshine by a door or window, or use a lamp or phone light. Before you start drawing, imagine what the drawings might look like. Do you think it will be easy or hard to identify the objects from their outlines?

  • For each picture, put an object on the edge of your paper so that the light makes a shadow on your paper. Draw around the edge of the shadow, and you should have an outline of the object on your paper. You might find that the picture looks just like the object, or nothing like it at all! This depends on where the light is, and the position of your object.

  • Try making some more drawings by turning your objects, putting objects next to each other, or doing more than one outline on the same page. Ask your friends or family to guess what the objects are in your pictures. If you are working with another person, see if you can guess what they have drawn. It can be hard to identify the picture if you don’t know what was making the shadow.

  • Choose an object to represent a disagreement that you have had with someone. Look at the different drawings you have made by turning the object around. See how different they look from another viewpoint! On each drawing, write down what each person in the disagreement might have been thinking from their point of view. Think about how each person might have been feeling and what they knew or understood about the situation.

Extra Activity: Some of your outlines might look strange or funny! Can you imagine what else they could be, instead of the original objects? Could you colour in your outlines to make a new picture?

When you’ve finished, spend a moment reflecting on the activity and ask yourself the following questions:

  • Did you learn anything new about yourself while you did this activity?

  • What did you enjoy most about this activity?

  • If you were working with another person, was it easy or hard to guess the objects from the outlines? How did it feel when you got things ‘wrong’?

  • When is it difficult to see things from another person’s point of view?

  • How does this activity help us think about seeing things in a new way?


This activity helps you to think about how things look in a new way. Just like how your drawings might be difficult to identify, this activity lets you playfully explore why it might be hard to understand something by looking at it from another point of view.

Take a moment to notice how you are feeling at the end of this activity. Did you discover anything surprising? What can you take away to make you feel better about yourself from this activity?

If you would like to, share something about your experience with this activity with someone you live with! Ask the person who looks after you to send us an email if you have any questions or comments about the activity, or would like to send us any pictures ( Don't forget to subscribe for more fun CAT activities!

Created by Heather Dingle © April 2020


Creative Arts Used: Art

Psychological Areas Explored: Resilience, Communication, Relationships, Self-Exploration

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These activities could be done by children of all ages, but some may need the support of their parent or carer to read the instructions or complete the activity safely.

This website was made by CAT Corner to help you explore your feelings through fun creative arts activities. The people using the website and the people responsible for them need to make sure they stay safe (full disclaimer on About page).

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