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Make a sundial from natural materials

Picture of Sundial

What’s the idea?

Join the Summer Solstice celebrations and make a sundial with the kids – it’s easy and all from natural materials!

What’s the story?

The Summer Solstice is almost here and what better to time to go outside and take part in a nature activity with the kids?!

Making a sundial is very easy with minimal materials required.

We made our sundial from an old piece of our bamboo plant and leftover pieces of patio slate.

We made the dial close to the patio so it’s quick and easy for the kids to pop out and check the time.

Let’s hope the sun continues to shine throughout the summer!

Find out more about the Summer Solstice here.

People should do this because…?

If you are looking for ways to celebrate the Summer Solstice with the kids and get outside while the sun is shining, this is a lovely craft activity and it is FREE!

There are many different ways to make a sundial and it can be as easy or as complicated as you like! We went for a more straightforward option.

It teaches the kids about the sun and shadows and how people used to tell the time before clocks and watches.

How do you do it?

How to get started:

  1. Find something like a stick or a pole (we chose bamboo as we had loads in our garden)
  2. Find 12 stones, patio shingles etc… (items that can be used as a place marker)
  3. Number each stone (we found that acrylic pens worked best when decorating stones)
  4. Starting at noon, find a sunny spot in your outside space
  5. Plant the stick standing straight up
  6. Place a stone at the end of the shadow cast by the stick
  7. Repeat this step every hour until the sun sets
  8. You’ll find that the shadow will have moved each time
  9. At this point, you will only have completed half of the sundial
  10. Return the next morning to mark your shadows on the hour from sun up to noon

Stuff you may need

  • Stick
  • Trowel
  • Bamboo
  • Stone, pebbles, shingles
  • Acrylic pens

Links to other Stuffer pages

Learn everything about the Summer Solstice

Summer Solstice history and myths

Links to other articles on the web

https://sdo.gsfc.nasa.gov/assets/docs/Solar_Clock.pdf

https://www.teachstarter.com/us/blog/how-to-make-a-sundial-us/

https://www.teachstarter.com/us/blog/how-to-make-a-sundial-us/

Links to other videos on the web

Links to books

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