You probably don’t think much about light and dark. After all, you can turn on a switch and the lights go on. Even in the middle of the night, you can have light. Two hundred years ago, though, people were very aware of light and dark. They worked during the day when the Sun was shining. As the sun went down, they used candles or oil lamps to see. However, these lights were dim. Outside, there were no street lights. The only light available came from the moon and stars. Night was very, very dark. People usually went to bed when the sun went down and woke up early.
What sources of light do you use every day? The sun is the biggest source of light. It warms the world so plants grow and animals can live. It allows you to work and play. Without the light of the sun, all life on earth would die. We also have electric light bulbs that bring us light. How about candles and flashlights? These light sources all need energy – from electricity, wax or batteries – to shine.
Fun Facts about Light and Dark for Kids
- A shadow happens when an object blocks the sun’s rays. Shadows are longer in the winter because of the angle of the sun.
- Some animals are nocturnal. They are awake at night. These animals usually can see very well in the dark. Our eyes aren’t designed to see well at night.
- Black or dark objects absorb light and heat. White or light objects reflect it. During the summer, you’ll stay cooler if you wear light clothing.
- Some objects, such as glass, are transparent. Light can shine through them. Some light shines through translucent objects, such as a balloon or sheet of wax paper. Light cannot shine through opaque objects and you can’t see through them. Opaque objects, including a desk, bath towel or blanket, are solid.
Light and Dark Vocabulary
- Dim: dull, not bright
- Shadow: a patch of darkness
- Nocturnal: awake at night
- Opaque: light cannot penetrate it. You cannot see through it.
- Transparent: light can shine through it and you can see through it.
- Translucent: some light shines through it and you can partly see through it
Learn More All About Light and Dark
Check out this amazing video about darkness:
A video explaining why we can’t see in the dark.
Light and Dark Q&A
Question: Do shiny objects, like a new penny, give off light?
Answer: No, these objects do not give off light and they need light to appear shiny.
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