Summer Solstice Shrinking Sun Lesson

When I was a child I loved Shrinky Dinks. If you do not know what they are, you should check them out. They are some plastic sheets that you can trace a picture and color and then you put them in the oven for a minute or two and they shrink to a hard plastic. Well I have been thinking about the summer solstice and a craft to talk about it and thought this would be perfect.

We started by printing some sun pictures from Microsoft Word. Here is a link to the pdf of the ones we used. I then traced them with a black Sharpie marker.
Then we colored them with some color pencils. The instructions said to sand them first, but we didn't. I did find it mattered which side you colored on though.
Then I cut them out and punched holes in them so we could hang them later. We put them on parchment paper in the warm oven (350 degrees) for two minutes. I put a chair in front of the oven so Hazel could watch them shrink. They curl up and shrink right in front of you. 

Then they flatten back out. You have to wait until they are completely flat before you take them out. Take them out and let them cool for a few minutes. They are much thicker and much smaller.
Once cool you can put a string through the hole to make a necklace (we did this with Hazel's name) or to hang up somewhere. Or you can glue them on as a decoration to something.

We had the whole discussion about how the summer solstice is the longest day of the year in terms of sunlight and how now each day will be getting shorter so there will be less (or smaller amounts of) sun. Thus our shrinking suns. Then we hung them on her seasonal tree.


  1. I remember shrinky dinks!! They are sooo cool :-) We used to do it with chip packets (until they changed what they are made from)! Thanks for reminding me about these ~ I'll have to find some of the special sheets so we can give them a go :-)

  2. What a great lesson! I bet that she loved getting to do something so fun while learning at the same time :)

    It looks like you have a lot of fun kid activities on your site! I'm hosting a Summer Sensory Fun Link Party today through next week, and would absolutely love it if you would link up one of your posts! I hope you'll swing by and visit--it would be great to have you!

    ♥ Bethany
    ♥ Bethany

  3. What a perfect project for Summer Solstice! I LOVE it! Saw this linked up on TGIF!!!

  4. What a fun project. You know now that I see those I think of Tangled =-) Is that a hit at your house? Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great weekend! If you have a moment I'd love your vote in Circle of Moms Top 25 Homeschooling blogs ( - Thanks!!

  5. Oooh lovely - we kind of missed Summer Solstice last week (it was raining here) but I'll definitely be adding this to our sunny day list!

    Thanks for sharing with The Sunday Showcase - hope to see you there this week!



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