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Science Kids on the Loose

Cave of Darkness

Exploring darkness in a fun way can help ease fears of the dark.

Download this activity (pdf)

Materials

  • A table or four chairs arranged so there’s a place to sit on the floor in the middle
  • Thick blankets that will reach the floor and will block light
  • A volunteer to sit inside the “cave” and report on what’s happening inside

Directions

  1. Ask a volunteer to be the reporter from the cave of darkness. (Be sure that the child knows that she or he can come out anytime.) The reporter’s job is to tell everyone else when the cave is completely dark because all the light is blocked.
  2. Allow other children to arrange the blankets over the table or chairs. Encourage them to ask the reporter to identify places where the light is getting in and to work together to block the light.
  3. Ask the reporter to describe how the inside of the cave changes as more blankets are used to block the light.
  4. Repeat the activity with other children who would like a turn inside the cave.

Take it Further

  • Consider having a few toys or other small items inside the cave. Ask the reporter to observe and describe how they look and feel before the blankets are used to make the cave. As the cave gets darker do the items feel the same? Can you still see what color they are? How about when the cave is totally dark?
  • In the episode, Susie helps the children to understand that the things in their environment are still the same things, even in the dark. She has them describe what they see and feel around them. Then they close their eyes. It's dark and they can't see, but can they still observe the same things? They feel the rug beneath them, the clothes on their arms, and the shoes on their feet. The world might look different, but the things in it are the same.
  • Share books on nocturnal animals to find out how these creatures make their way around a world in darkness.

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Produced by: Funding is provided by:
Jim Hensen Corporation logo CPB ViNCi MetLife The Rosehills Foundation S.D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation logo The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations logo
 

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