Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Telling the Time with a Shadow Sundial: Playful Science

This activity really did take us all day!  From 9am to 5pm on the hour every hour we drew round our shadows with chalk to create our own shadow sundial clock.  Something I've been wanting to try since we explored making shadows earlier in the year.  Great for the day that you have to wait in for a parcel and thankfully we were blessed with a day that didn't cloud over and were able to do the whole day and use it the next day as a clock.  A fun, active, hands on learning of some science and maths.

We used this book to explore what was happens to the sun and the earth during the day and night.  Looking at our shadows and observing how they not only moved round but changed shape too.

Our sundials began to grow and we had fun trying to guess where the shadow would fall at the next hour.

It was also a fun way of practicing reading the hour times on a normal clock as Chick had to look at the time on our kitchen clock to see if we needed to be drawing again.

3 o'clock.

Our finished sundial clocks, the girls did one each.  We used them the following day, so instead of looking at our wall clock first to see what time it was, we went outside to see if we could work out what the time was from our sundial and then checked back to the clock - we weren't very accurate but could usually get to the closest hour! The girls really enjoyed doing this and Chick particularly enjoyed observing what was happening and trying to work out why things were changing.  


  1. Hi there! Thanks for linking to Tuesday Tots. Great post. I'm featuring it on this week's Tuesday Tots so keep your eye out for it. Look forward to seeing more from you. :)

  2. Loving this one, it is the simple ideas that catch our imagination and those of the children. Please join me on Country Kids too.


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