Tag Archives: project

Paper Plate Sundial

Many years ago people had to use the sun to tell him. Learn how people told time before the invention of watches and clocks by making a sun clock.

Paper plate Sundial

What you need:

  • paper plate
  • plastic straw
  • sharpened pencil
  • crayons
  • ruler
  • pushpins

What you do:

  1. Start this project on a sunny day just before noon.
  2. Use the pencil to poke a hole through the very center of the paper plate. Write the number 12 on the edge of the plate with a crayon. Using the ruler as a guide, draw a straight line from the number 12 to the hole in the center of the plate.
  3. At noon, take the plate and the straw outside. Put the plate on the ground and poke the straw through the hole. Slant the straw toward the line you drew. Now carefully turn the plate so that the shadow of the straw falls along the line to the number 12.
  4. Fasten the plate to the ground with some pushpins. Have your child predict where he/she thinks that the shadow of the straw will be pointing in one hour.
  5. One hour later, at one o’clock, check the position of the shadow along the edge of the plate and write the number 1 on that spot. Continue each hour predicting the position and then checking and marking the actual position and time on the edge of the plate.
  6. At the end of the day you and your child will have a sun clock. On the next sunny afternoon you will be able to tell time by watching where the shadow of the straw falls on your clock.

Note: Observation, prediction and communication are all very important science skills. This activity helps to develop them. Be sure to have your child talk about why he/she thinks the shadow is moving.

Photo: NWF

Hand Flowers Craft

This is a step by step tutorial for making the hand flower project from the April craft kit. Even if you didn’t pick up your April craft kit, you probably have the supplies on hand to make this easy project.
finished project

Finished Project


construction paper (various colors)
clear tape
drinking straws or chenille stem (pipe cleaners)


Step by Step Instructions

Step by Step Instructions

Haiti Service Project a Success

At our Cultural Fair on Saturday, we collected lots of supplies to make Hygeine Kits for Haiti.  On Sunday,  I purchased any items we still needed and with the help of my kids, we put the kits together.  They are being donated to Presbyterian Distaster Assitance.

Here is a photo of the 40 kits we made!

haiti kits

We had a handful of items left and we gave them to another group who is putting together kits.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to this project.

Chicago Au Pairs Make Blankets for Project Linus

Last Saturday, 90 Au Pair in America au pairs made 100 fleece blankets for children in need.  The patterns were fabulous with everything from polka dots, soccer themes, dinosaurs, animal prints, dog-theme prints and more.  Each fleece blanket is fringed by hand.  The au pairs and counselors worked together to purchase the fleece and follow the blanket pattern instructions according to the Chicago chapter of Project Linus. Host families supported the project by donating fleece and blankets made ahead of time.

One host mom told her counselor that this project had a special meaning for her because her own son was seriously ill when he was born and was given a Project Linus blanket which they have kept.  When she found out her au pair was taking part, she said it brought tears to her eyes.

All who participated felt it was a worthy cause and a great way to give back to their community.


Au Pair in America Au Pairs from Chicago Area

Au Pair in America Au Pairs from Chicago Area