Sunshine Activities

Make a Sundial Activity

Cut your sundial to the dimensions shown in the picture.
Cut your sundial to the dimensions shown in the picture.
©2007 Publications International, Ltd.

This make a sundial activity teaches kids how ancient people told time before there were clocks.

What You'll Need:

  • Thin cardboard
  • Tape
  • Wooden board
  • Pen or marker

How to Make a Sundial:

Step 1: Cut a piece of thin cardboard to the dimensions shown in the illustration. Tape the cardboard upright on a board. Put the sundial outdoors in a sunny place with the highest point of the triangle facing south.

Step 2: Starting as soon as it gets light, go to your sundial every hour on the hour, and mark where the shadow of the cardboard falls. For example, at 11 a.m., write "11 a.m." at the place where the shadow falls.

Once all the hours are marked you can use your sundial to tell time. Make sure you place your sundial in exactly the same spot each time you use it.

Can you think of ways that clocks are an improvement over sundials? The most obvious is that clocks tell time at night, too, while sundials don't. What else?

Start a homemade weather center with the activity on the next page!

For more fun activities and crafts, try: