Jul 24, 2022
Arts and Crafts are a big hit with my preschooler and toddler. I especially love when we can incorporate nature into the projects. One of our favorites is to create a nature sundial using rocks or large leaves.
The great thing about making a nature sundial is first you get to go on a hike with your toddler or preschooler. This hike can be in the woods or maybe just in your backyard, whichever works for you. On this hike task your child to find 12 rocks or 12 large leaves and a large stick.
Once you have collected these items in nature you will be able to make your very own sundial with your toddler/preschool or kindergartener.
Create your sundial in your yard and for the rest of the day you will be able to tell time. This craft helps kids learn their numbers, how to tell time and utilizes fine motor skills.
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My favorite place to collect all items is on a hike to a small creek. Creek beds are great spots to find rocks of all different shapes and sizes. If finding rocks is not in the cards for today, no problem, large leaves work as well!
If you have collected rocks you can add washing the rocks in a water table for additional fun! Kids love water play and this step helps to extend the nature arts and craft project.
Washing the rocks in the water table
Once you wash the rocks you will need to allow time for the rocks to dry.
This step is optional. My 2 year old and almost 4 year old cannot write their numbers yet, but love paint! Allowing your child to first paint the rocks or sticks keeps your child invested in the project and increases the fun.
Remember this is for the kids, let them paint however they like. If you have a certain design style you want you could create your own sundial; one designed by your child and one designed by you.
I recommend washable paint. You never know where the paint will end up!
Let the paint dry on the leaves and rocks. Once completely dry you can paint on the numbers 1-12. I would suggest using a different color than the colors you have already used. I found white to be a great color.
Keep your child involved by asking them what number comes next.
After the paint dries from the numbers it is time to assemble your sundials! Find a sunny spot in your yard and lay out the rocks or leaves with your toddler/preschooler/kindergartener.
I like to lay out the 12, 3, 6 and 9. Then, I have my child work to figure out where the other numbers should go to stay in order.
The last step is to insert the stick into the sundial, or the middle of the circle. And presto you now have a sundial!
You might have to look at the time and slightly adjust the location of the rocks/leaves to be a little more accurate.
Caterpillar from "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
Butterfly from Flower Confetti