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Making sun prints with children: Burning Daylight: Sun Print Edition

Jul03

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I may have mentioned off handedly about a thousand times, how much trouble I have filling the summer with things to do for my kids. Yesterday I ran an idea by Isabel, suggesting I come up with a craft project or two to do with your kids each week. I’ll be using my friend’s younger children for some of these projects as well so they won’t all be targeted at the 6 to 8 year old demographic. Then, on Thursday I’ll share what we did and how it went. Including a total calculation of daylight hours burned, perhaps there will be charts.
When summer is over and I am no longer Chief Entertainment Officer Of Summer, we’ll go back to talking about other things, really good things like GOING BACK TO SCHOOL.
SunlightPrintKit.jpgThis week I’ve decided we’ll be making sun prints. I bought this Sunlight Print Kit back in early May from a trip with the intent of creating something fun for the kids and I to do together. Of course we haven’t touched it. The kit comes with the special photosensitive paper, some stencils and an extensive booklet with many homemade photography projects. Most of them being far too difficult for me to attempt while trying to steer the 2 minute attention spans of my little angels. If I were to purchase a kit again I’d go with one like this which is made up of just using photosensitive paper to create sun prints. I also like the price tag a lot more.
DIYSunprint.jpgIf you don’t want to buy a kit, Oriental Trading company sells sheets of Sun Sensitive paper all by itself at just $5 for twelve 5″ by 7″ pieces. The DIY network has a very simple to follow how-to at their site. This column is suddenly making feel like I just wasted $25 bucks.
parentssunprint.jpgThere’s also a low tech version of the sun print outlined at Parents Magazine. Using construction paper and the way it naturally fades in the sunlight, you can create silhouettes on any color paper you like. This technique takes a little longer, around 2-3 weeks as opposed to the photo sensitive paper which takes 30 seconds to 3 minutes to develop.
The kids and I will be finding items to make our sun prints with in our yard and on a nature walk around a local pond. This will burn even more daylight! I’ll probably have them look around the house for things they’d like to put on the paper to see how they work. The biggest challenge about this project for me will be not interfering with their ideas or worrying that they’re wasting paper.
sunprinttags.jpgHere’s some inspiration for what to do with your sunprints. My daughter wants to make a set of prints to frame and hang in her bedroom. I’ve seen some lovely prints I’m thinking of using as inspiration for my own and hanging them in our bathroom. Martha shows framed sun prints made from tiny newborn clothes. This would make my kids yawn, but what a sweet idea. Martha has some other great ideas for using sun prints, both the photo paper version and the construction paper kind. I love these cards and am sure Maddie would love to make some herself. These gift cards and tags are so lovely, but maybe a project I can do along side the kids.
We’ll be working on this project today, if the sun comes out, and I’ll report back on Thursday. My estimate of daylight burned on this, including time to gather materials: Three Hours.
Wow, only 924 more to go!

About the author

Melissa Summers

http://www.suburbanbliss.net/
Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa's Buzz Off. You can find her daily on her blog, Suburban Bliss.


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6 Responses to “Making sun prints with children: Burning Daylight: Sun Print Edition”

  1. melissa Jul 03 at 2:42 pm Reply

    This works with kids of all ages. I do this with a 9th grade art class. They love using their own artifacts. Jewelry (think basic cross on a chain) can be really nice in its simplicity. it’s also fun to have them layer textural items like doilies or to include items of varying transparency to modify the value of the final print…Burn on!

  2. amypt Jul 05 at 4:04 pm Reply

    Balloon hats? I don’t know if it will burn a lot of daylight, but your kids might like it. Check out: http://www.balloonhat.com for some awesome photos and projects. They have an instruction book with pump and balloons.
    Would they be interested in gardening? You could seed weeds while they sleep…

  3. Skyzi Jul 06 at 9:26 am Reply

    Does the paper come in any other colors?

  4. Sherry Jul 06 at 10:48 am Reply

    I love Kids Craft Weekly. They send a newsletter out every week with a bunch of different ideas for the kids. Check it out.

  5. Katie Jul 06 at 12:15 pm Reply

    We did this at Girl Scout camp with regular black construction paper (and yep, we took a hike first to find items to waste more time). Even though the projects were only out in the sun for a few hours (4 at the most) they still turned out well.

  6. Jennie Jul 07 at 12:46 pm Reply

    Melissa,
    For an even better price on the Nature Print paper, check out teachersource.com. On their site, do a search for “Nature Print.” Otherwise it’s a bit hard to find. Thanks for reminding me about this beautiful craft.

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