Making Sun Prints with Children
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.
This 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.
If you don’t want to buy a kit, Oriental Trading company sells sheets of Sun Sensitive paper all by itself at just $6.99 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.
There’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.
Here’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!
Published July 3, 2007. Last updated August 28, 2018.