Light Reflection Activity

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Updated on Oct 8, 2012

What happens when light hits a hard surface? Find out by conducting a simple light reflection experiment with your preschooler. He'll watch in amazement as the color from a bright sheet of paper "magically" appears on your face! This is a great way to explore light and how light behaves.

What You Need:

  • Fluorescent foam board or stiff paper
  • 4" x 4" squares of the same brightly colored board or paper
  • Mirror

What You Do:

  1. Have your child hold up a sheet of florescent paper and see if he can wipe the color off onto his clothes and skin. Does the color come off?
  2. Now hold the paper at an angle under your chin so he can see the color reflected onto your face. What color does he see? How did it get there?
  3. Now give him 4" x 4" square and invite him to hold it under his chin. Ask him to look at himself in the mirror. What does he see? How does he think the color gets there.
  4. Finish the experiment by talking about light and reflection. While you couldn't remove color from the paper, you could transfer it to your face through reflection. Light bounces off the paper, and shines on your face in the color of the paper.


Adapted with permission from "Science is Simple: Over 250 Activities for Preschoolers." Copyright 2003 by Peggy Ashbrook. Used by Permission of Gryphon House, Inc., Maryland. All Rights Reserved.

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