It’s a great day to celebrate the sun

As we approach the official start of summer, we think it's a great time to celebrate the sunshine.  

Teaching about weather may feel like common sense as it is often a conversation we use when greeting neighbors, family and colleagues.  However, there are still many great lessons to teach children about the weather.  This week, we specifically share ideas to teach about the sun.  

Here are some ideas to teach your child about the sun.  

  • Sun mask.  Start by cutting out the middle of paper plate. Next, trace your child’s hands on yellow and orange construction paper. Cut out six hand prints of each color. Glue the hands down in a pattern around the plate, alternating yellow and orange. Glue a popsicle stick on the bottom of the plate so you can easily hold this. Have your child put her face in the middle of the plate, to become a friendly sunshine.
  • Sing about the sun. We like the song, “Mr. Sun.”  You may know it.  It goes, “Mr. Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, hiding behind the trees.  These little children are asking you to please come out so they can play with you.  Mr Sun, Sun, Mr. Golden Sun, please shine down on me, please shine down on, please shine down on me.” 

  • Read stories about the sun. Here are some of our favorites.
    • Amy Loves the Sun - Lillian Hoban 
    • Bear in Sunshine - Stella Blackstone and Debbie Harter
    • Sunshine on My Shoulders - John Denver and Christopher Canyon
    • Sunshine - Jan Ormerod
    • Good Morning, Sunshine! - Barbara Cratzius
  • Sun bath.  For this activity, you need a plastic pool, yellow and orange tissue paper and scissors.  Start by using the scissors to make different sizes of sun rays.  Tape these around the edges of your pool or place them under the pool on the floor. Sit inside the pool to have a sun bath or consider siting inside of the sunshine for reading time.
  • Sun explanation.  Tell your children that the sun is  located very far away from the earth and that we on Earth travel around the sun. Explain that the sun is very big, hot star which helps us grow plants, trees, and flowers.
  • Count and sort suns. Make different sized sun shapes out of construction paper or use sun stickers of different sizes. Have your child count the number of suns you have set out for them. Have them sort the suns by size. Have them count the rays on each sun and discuss which ones have more or less.

  • Sun shapes.  For this activity, you need construction paper, scissors, glue or tape.  Start by cutting a bunch of yellow and orange circles of different sizes out of the construction paper, as well as different shaped triangles.  Allow your child to glue or tape the shapes together to make a sunshine.  Explain how the shapes look like a sunshine. 

  • Sun photo.  Put some items on a piece of paper and place them outside in the sun.  Leave this outside throughout the day.  Before dinner, remove the objects and see how the sun discolored the paper and observe what happened.  See if your child can match the objects back with the shadow that was left. 
  • Yellow painting.  Since the sun brightens up our lives and days, mimic this idea by giving you child a white sheet of paper, yellow paint and a paint brush.  Allow them to paint with only yellow paint.  See what they makes and ask why.  Explain how the sunshine brightens our day and sheds light on the things in our lives. 

We greatly hope you enjoy these lessons about the sunshine.  At the end of your lessons, we encourage you to get outside and enjoy a sunny day.  There is no time like the present to enjoy the sun.