If you’re looking for a perfect way to spend a sunny summer day, try making your own sun prints with sun art paper. It’s a great way to inspire little scientists!

Materials:

  • Sun Art paper kit (available on Amazon)
  • outdoor objects, i.e., sticks, flowers, etc.
  • tub of water
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • towel
  • book for pressing (optional)

Instructions

  1. step 1Let your child find interesting-looking natural objects in your backyard or local park. Mine mostly gathered leaves and flowers.
  2. Go into the shade and pull out a couple sheets of sun art paper. (I bought three sizes of it from Amazon over the winter, when I was daydreaming of sunny days ahead. This time we used the 5″x7″ paper.)
  3. step 3Arrange the leaves, flowers and whatever else your children find on the paper.
  4. Next, put a clear acrylic sheet (comes with the paper) over the objects before going back into the sun. This holds down your things so they don't blow away in the wind or move around during the exposure time. Each sun art paper kit comes with just one, but if you want to do more than one at a time, raid your picture frame stash (especially the cheap plastic ones) and borrow the clear plastic panes from those.
  5. step 7Leave the paper in the sun for three to five minutes, or until it turns a very light blue.
  6. Put the papers into a tub of water for one minute. Because we wanted our images to turn out a deeper shade of blue, I added a few drops of lemon juice to the water (as suggested on the package).
  7. bubbleAfter the prints have soaked for a minute, let them dry on a towel. Once completely dry, you can press them in a book for a day or so to make sure they stay flat.
  8. If you like, repeat the process with more leaves and flowers … and some bubble wands too!
  9. display

    The girls loved seeing how their sun prints turned out. These beautiful, natural prints would make lovely cards, but I think I'll frame this batch in a series to display in our home.

Jen Berlingo is a mom, artist, and art psychotherapist living in the San Francisco Bay Area. On her blog, paintcutpaste.com she shares ideas to elicit authentic artistic expression in children, mostly with simple materials found in nature or around the home. Through both her art therapy practice and her blog, Jen also aims to inspire new parents to reconnect with their creative spirits.

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