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Wednesday, June 17 2020

Today we're celebrating the SUN on the blog!

We have projects that are all about warm weather and getting outside. Sundials, Sunflower Paintings, Sunscreen Experiment, and Sun Tea! Let's get started . . .

Sunny Day Sundial

Created By Charlotte


You might be wondering, “What is a sundial?!” A sundial is a device that tells the time of day when there is sunlight by the position of the Sun in the sky.

Okay, so “How does a sundial work?” Each sundial is made with a gnomon, which in our case is a pencil. As the sun moves across the sky, the gnomon casts a shadow on our dial (paper plate) and we can track the time of day based upon this shadow! So cool!

Grades: K-5 (If you are older, try using other materials such as painted rocks or clay pots to put in your yard or garden)

Group or Individual: Individual or small group works!


-paper plate


-paint, markers, colored pencils, or crayon


  1. Paint/decorate the outer rim of the bottom of your plate.

  2. Using a pencil or pen, draw the face of a clock in the center circle of the bottom of your plate.

  3. Stick a hole in the exact center of your plate (you can use a ruler for this step if that helps) with the pencil and leave it poking through your plate.

  4. Bring the sundial outside and place in a sunny place at around noon. Make sure the sundial is somehow locked in place ( you can use rocks or tape). The shadow should be hitting the 12 on your sundial.

  5. Over the course of the day, go out and notice the changes of the shadow on your sundial!

Note: This is not the most scientific or accurate way of using a sundial, but it helps us learn about the movement of the sun and one way that we can track it! Older kids might be interested in researching the details of a more precise sundial.

Examples of different homemade sundials!

Kitchen Made Sunflowers

Crafted By Julie

Grade Level: K-5

Individual or multiple people: Either








Location: Flat surface at home

Further instructions or accommodations:

  1. Lay out your newspaper over your working space.

  2. Place your napkin down and dip then end of your fork in your paint.

  3. Make the middle of your sunflower by taking the bottom of your fork and forming dots in a circle to make your middle.

  4. Take the top of your fork and dip into yellow and orange paint and press down on the napkin around the middle of your sunflower

  5. Taking your paintbrush add in anything else you like, (stems, leaves, sun, grass, ect. )

Suncreen Strength Test

By Courtney

How well does your favorite lotion protect against sunrays? Test suntan lotion to find out. Sunscreen and tanning lotions screen out radiation. It's the UV (ultraviolet) waves in sunlight -- not the sun's heat -- that browns skin and can cause sunburn.

Grade Level: K-5

Individual or multiple people: Either


  • Stiff cardboard

  • Safe scissors

  • Large pieces of black construction paper (or other brightly colored construction paper)

  • Plastic wrap

  • Tape

  • Various suncreens and tanning lotions

  • Keys or other flat objects

  • Paper clips

  • Flat pan

Location: Outside


To test sunscreen and tanning lotions, make testing frames from cardboard and plastic wrap. Cut a square of cardboard four inches wider and longer than the paper sheets. Cut a hole in the center of the cardboard the same size as the paper. Cover the hole with plastic wrap and tape in place. Cut a second square of cardboard the same size as the first to go under the frame.

Make as many testing frames as you need to test the various brands of lotion you have. Put a dab of sunscreen on the plastic wrap of one frame. Spread it thinly and evenly over the entire surface.

Lay a sheet of paper in the middle of the solid cardboard square. Set a key or similar flat object in the middle of the paper, and cover with the testing frame. Paper clip the frame to the cardboard to hold everything together.

Set the stack in bright sunlight for exactly a few hours. Bring indoors. Remove the paper and soak it in a flat pan filled with water for exactly one minute. Let the paper dry completely.

Repeat the process with a clean frame for each lotion. Do one test using just the frame and no lotion at all for comparison. Which lotion worked best? Remember, the lighter the paper, the more sunlight came through.

Make a batch of Sunshine Tea!

Cooked Up By Courtney

Prepare some tasty herbal tea by cooking it with sunshine! Try out this fun sun activity.

Grade Level: K-5

Individual or multiple people: Either


  • 1-quart glass or plastic jar with top

  • Water

  • Tea bags

Directions: Fill a clear jar with water. Add 3 tea bags of your favorite tea. Cover the jar, and set it outside in the sunshine on a warm sunny day. Let the tea brew for 4 hours. Remove the tea bags, and refrigerate until cool. Then treat yourself and your friends to a cool sun-brewed drink!

Have a great day everyone!

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