Making sun prints is a perfect outdoor art activity for summer. My kids found the process fascinating and there’s lots to learn while experimenting, about how photography works and how we can replicate this with sun light. The resulting prints are striking and very cool. And bonus: It’s totally mess free!
We’ll definitely be making more of these over the summer.
Some of our prints came out better than others due to the experimentation, but I’ll share what we learnt so that you can make the best prints first time.
This is one of the easy solar science experiments you might like to try with the kids over the summer holidays. If you are lucky enough to have plenty of sunshine then you could try a few others too.
You ideally need a bright sunny day, with not too much cloud cover (although you can still make the prints with cloud, you will need to leave them in the sunlight for much longer). If you can get a still day without much wind or breeze, that will also be ideal. We seemed to have too much breeze in our garden which meant that our nature designs blew away before their prints could be exposed
so we had to turn to heavier items instead.
I love the bright colours included in the pack of sunography fabric that we got. If you use sunography paper, all the prints are meant to come out in a rich blue colour but using these we found more variety of colour.
As you can see above we made prints with wooden dinosaur shapes, and wooden under the sea shapes, plastic and metal cookie cutters, and other items like bottle tops and tape rolls.
The solid items came out best, and I love our dinosaur prints:
As for the cookie cutters, since those have a much thinner outline the prints were much less defined for those. I would definitely recommend using something more solid, but it was fun to explore the different effects.
This is with the fox metal cookie cutter:
And the plastic fruit shapes:
If we can get a still calm day, I would love to try again with the nature items, and to experiment sun printing with other items like photographs, doilies and stencils.
What would you use?
Anna Marikar, mum of four and seasoned blogger, has spent over a decade sharing her parenting journey and passion for kid-friendly crafts and free printables.
Her easy-to-follow craft ideas and practical parenting advice have transformed In The Playroom into a cherished resource for parents.