Sun Art

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One sunny day in 2008, I came up with this “Sun Art” activity. The kids were only 4, 3, & 2 in this first round. They picked what color of paper they wanted (good review of colors for the 2 and 3 year old). I made the letters and the 3 & 2 year old had to find their “initial” letter before the 4 year old could tell everyone the answer. I used gigantic words like experiment and hypothesis just to hear my 2 year old try to say them, but I also believe in getting those big words out there early. We had been playing with shadows a lot lately and how the sun is the shadow maker. We played with the blocks making shadows on the paper. Someone probably had to go potty at this point.

Hmmm….I wonder what will happen if we leave these outside during playtime?” Blank stares. A bird flies by. I lose their attention. I told them how the blocks will BLOCK the sunshine.  “Mommy has a prediction there will be some changes to our paper.” Let’s wait and see! Now go take a nap while Mommy melts.

The sleepyface 4 year old came running to the door after her nap wanting to see our Sun Art. Excuse me a sec,  I need to pause for a moment and weep at her itty bitty widdle face of contemplation. Wah!  It’s now an 8 year old gigantic face. Same expression.

Ta-Da! They thought I was a magician! The sun lightened the rest of the page, but the blocks and letter blocked the sun, leaving our beautiful (mediocre, really) art!

Fast forward 4 years. Three gigantic toothless faces of contemplation and a few friends over for a playdate. We added bigger conversations about the sun, colors that absorb more sun, fading, sunblock, sunglasses, UV rays, etc. They still thought it was magical, but it didn’t really work all that great. The clouds had rolled in and rained before it had enough time to cook.

About a month later, I finally picked up some “Sun Art” paper which really was magical…and FAST!  It works in less than 5 minutes which adds in a fun observation experience. Did I mention it was about 130 degrees outside that day? So, 5 minutes outside was perfect.

Here’s to letting the sun into your art! Shelisa

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  1. KC in VA says:

    We do that here too! We call it “Solar Painting” lol. And usually we cut out cardboard shapes and tape them onto construction paper and then hang them in the bay windows for a day…think question from my 6 year old “why does the sun make the paper lighter but it makes our skin darker?” I’m going to have to use the deck next time and gather more objects so we can “Solar Paint” with our method influenced by Shelisa 🙂

  2. Heidi Wolfe says:

    So~ we tried this with the actual sun paper in England 🙁 it didn’t work because the sun wasn’t strong enough!! HAHA!!!!

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