Are you aware of how the sun moves across the sky every day? Making this simple sundial inspired in us all sorts of scientific observations!

6 - 9
Est. Time:
2+ hours

How we did it:

Materials List

  1. poster board paper - stick or wooden dowel
  2. cardboard
  3. glue
  4. crayons, markers, or paints
  1. Mostly we used paper and a dowel for this. We opted for cardboard for our center... you could easily use a piece of dried clay, if you prefer.

  2. First Maddie decided how big her sundial should be, and she traced a circle onto the posterboard.

  3. We found the center by making folding the circle in half, length-wise, then across, and Maddie marked it.

  4. Since we were using a stack of cardboard discs for the center, Madeleine traced then cut out a short pile of circles,

  5. and she glued the stack together.

  6. We wanted a pretty covering, so we cut out a larger circle of paper, and then cut a fringe, so that we could wrap our paper stack in the pretty paper. The cardboard stack was put in the center of the circle, and the fringes folded up to enclose our stack.

  7. We sharpened the ends of the dowel with a pencil sharpener (but not dangerously sharp), and poked one end into the stack of paper. We opted to glue the assembly lightly into place (to the paper), so we could have consistent recordings of the sun's passage.

  8. At every hour, from 10 until 5, we recorded the sun's position on our paper. Maddie found it easy and helpful to use a ruler to make straight, tidy lines. We noticed that some shadows were long, and some short. As we watched our clock being made, we also noted that a different place would have different records than ours!  Our sundial wouldn't be exactly correct, somewhere else.

  9. When we had all our our lines marked, it was ready for decorating!

  10. Then it was all finished-- it is definitely the brightest, prettiest clock we have!