Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Sunshine - crafts, activities, resources

Sun craft, activities and resources for toddlers

Sunshine! Unfortunately where I live it is rather lacking at the moment, and I think that we could all do with some sun to brighten things up. So I thought I would collect together some lovely sunny crafts and ideas in the hope that it might encourage the sun to come and visit us! Some facts about the sun - our sun is a star and is around 5 billion years old. It makes up 98% of all the matter in our Solar System (the rest is made up of the eight planets that orbit it, their moons and other minor planets and asteroids). The eight planets that orbit the sun are Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. The temperature of the sun is 5,500 degrees Celsius on the surface and 15.6 million degrees Celsius at the core.

Sunshine crafts

Make a cheerful sun using your child's painted handprints, really simple and a lovely keepsake.

This lovely cheerful sun is made using tissue paper to collage with.

Finally, for older toddlers I love these sunshine monoprints which look really impressive and yet are still really simple to make.

Sunshine activities

We love making suncatchers. All you need is some clear contact paper and tissue paper. Just stick the tissue paper to the contact paper, then hang it up in the window. If you like you can add sequins and glitter.

You can buy fabulous Sun Print Paper which will allow your children to make their own pictures based on the shadows of objects that are left out in the sun. Fascinating!

Try making a simple sundial to track the progress of the sun across the sky through the day. There are some simple sundial instructions here.

You can use the sun to begin to teach children about the process of evaporation and the water cycle. Just place a saucer of water out in the sun for a few hours, or a piece of wet paper or cloth, and talk about how the heat from the sun has caused the water to evaporate. Here is a simple evaporation experiment.

You might be lucky enough to witness a solar eclipse, which is an excellent opportunity to talk to children about the movement of the planets around the sun. NASA provides a list of solar eclipse dates.

Sunshine books

Little Miss Sunshine - A real classic, little ones will love this classic book!

The Planets: Sam Sun - A funny story about what the sun might get up to when no-one is watching!

Sun, Moon and Stars - One for older toddlers and pre-schoolers, although aimed at children learning to read it is a fascinating source of knowledge for younger children that are still being read to.

Sunshine toys

Sun Print Paper - A brilliant way to teach children about the effect of the sun, and crafty too.

Sun Decoration - Gorgous decoration to bring some sunshine to any room.

Sun Punch - You can make lots of little sun cut outs for sunny, crafty activities.

Sun Cookie Cutter - A brilliant cookie cutter for some cheerful, sunshine biscuits.

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