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Causes of Seasons Activity for Kids

Light Intensity Observer DIY

  • Duration: 10 min
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: $0 to $10

See the difference in light intensity at different angles!

Material List

  • 1Flashlight (or phone light)
  • 1Toilet Paper Tube
  • 1Sheet of Graph Paper
  • 1Straw
  • 2Different Colored Markers
  • 1Roll of Tape


  • 1Tape the straw to the toilet paper tube.
  • 2Turn on the flashlight and shine it through the tube on to the graph paper
  • 3Trace the circle of light with the marker, making sure to keep it straight.
  • 4Repeat the process with the tube at a 45° angle.
  • 5Trace the new oval of light with a different colored marker.
  • 6Observe the difference!

How It Works

When the light is shined at an angle, the same amount of light spreads out, which makes it less intense. The smaller the angle, the more it spreads out. Differences in light intensity, due to the Earth’s tilt, are what cause seasons. The light intensity is highest in the summer and lowest in the winter.

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