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Here you will find nature-inspired articles and posts, family activities, personal stories, resources, and more--all with the goal to connect you with the benefits of nature for family fun and inspiration! Please enjoy and let us know what you like :) Follow us on Facebook for even more resources, more frequently!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Sun Painting

 A great project to try for celebrating the beginning of summer is sun painting. You can usually find sun painting kits, sun-sensitive papers & paints online or in nature, craft, and educational catalogs and stores. But for this post we went “old school,” simply using dark construction paper (avoiding fade resistent/archival papers).

Do you recognize any of
the objects we used?
By experimenting with junk drawer items along with objects found in nature and in my son’s toy box, we enjoyed an easy, mess-free activity. Creative play emerges when you begin to arrange your items in patterns, themes, radial designs, or if you decide to cut out paper snowflakes or other designs to lay atop the dark paper.
  • Dark colored construction paper
  • Natural objects (leaves, twigs, pine cones, and so on) or household objects (scissors, keys, combs, and so on)
Easy-peezy directions:
  • Place paper outside in direct sunlight
  • Arrange objects on paper in random order, patterns, a mandala-inspired design, etc.
  • Leave objects in place for a couple of hours (make sure paper remains in sun during that time!)
  • Remove objects and admire your sun painting creation!
  • The flatter the object lays, the crisper the image it will leave behind.
  • Use small rocks or other weighted items to hold objects flat or in place, but watch for any shadow they might create in your design.
Enjoy collecting your objects and experimenting with their layout. This is a great “background” activity to add to a summer day. My son took his afternoon nap during the couple of hours needed for our images to appear nicely. You can do this project in between seeing a movie, enjoying some pool time, taking a hike or bike ride while you wait for your sun painting.

Happy Summer Solstice!

For a "how-to" sun painting with colorful sun-sensitive paints, please see this link.


  1. What a simple, fun idea for getting kids outdoors -- and teaching them about the power of the sun!

  2. Hello Jeffrey, thank you visiting my blog and your comment! I am happy you did--always nice to "interact"--but also because I have now discovered your wonderful blog!

  3. How fun...I wanna do it!!!!! I'll bet Jeffery had a lot of fun with this one....but I don't see Yoshi???

  4. I can't wait to do this with our kids! Thanks for the idea!