Help Build Science Skills: Sundial

Learning how to tell time is an important skill for children. For kids just learning to tell time, the sundial offers a useful opportunity to review it in a new way. Building the sundial will help children integrate the concept of time with the Earth's movements, which may then lead to a fuller understanding of time. Make sure to take the sundial outside on a sunny day for maximum effect.

What this activity will develop:
Science and thinking skills

What you'll need:
• Poster board
• Protractor
• Pen or marker
• Popsicle stick

Setting up:
Check an atlas or call the library to find the latitude for your area. Subtract that latitude from 90 degrees. (For example, 40 degrees from 90 degrees = 50 degrees.)

Use the protractor to mark an angle on the poster board that is the same number of degrees as your answer. Draw a line from the corner of the board through the mark. Then draw lines to form a rectangle.

Label the angles within the rectangle.

Cut along the lines to make two triangles.

Cut a rectangle from the remaining poster board.

Center the protractor on a long side of the rectangle, and outline the protractor's outer edge.

Mark each 15-degree interval around the outer edge of the protractor.

Draw lines through each mark and label them. Starting at the bottom left, label the lines 6 through 12 (the line in the middle of the dial will be 12). On the right side, after the 12, label the lines 1 through 5.

Punch a hole where the lines meet on the dial face, and poke a Popsicle stick through the hole at a 90-degree angle.

Glue the triangles to the back of the sundial with the labeled angles at the top.

What to do:
Place the sundial on level ground in a sunny place, facing north. Check to see where the shadow falls on the dial. Then check it against a clock. If there's a difference, make sure the sundial is facing directly north. How will daylight-saving time affect the sundial's accuracy?

Like this? Want more?
Connect with Us
Follow Our Pins

Yummy recipes, DIY projects, home decor, fashion and more curated by iVillage staffers.

Follow Our Tweets

The very dirty truth about fashion internships... DUN DUN @srslytheshow

On Instagram

Behind-the-scenes pics from iVillage.

Best of the Web