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Sun Prints

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Harness the power of the sun to make art! This unique leaf print needs a little bit of advance planning—and some patience—but from there, it’s pretty simple. Kids will enjoy exploring the visual effects of strong sunlight. And of course, the question to ask all budding scientists is: What do you think will happen?
Harness the power of the sun to make art! This unique leaf print needs a little bit of advance planning—and some patience—but from there, it’s pretty simple.
What You’ll Need
  • Leaves

  • Two paper towels

  • Heavy book

  • Dark construction paper

What to Do
  1. One week ahead: Dry the leaves by placing them between two paper towels and putting the paper towels between the pages of a heavy book.

  2. Place the leaves on dark construction paper in a sunny place that doesn’t get a breeze. Leave the paper for two days.

  3. After two days, carefully lift one of the leaves to see if the image of the leaf is clearly visible. If it’s not, put the leaf back in its place and check daily until the image is clear. (You might need to wait a week or more if the outline of the leaf is very detailed—like a fern leaf is.)

Extend the Fun

Younger children: Encourage your child to turn the print into a card or piece of wall art. To make wall art: Help your child mount the print on a heavy piece of paper. Make sure the gift recipient hangs it in a spot that doesn’t get much sunlight. To make a greeting card: Fold a piece of heavy paper in half, and glue the leaf print to the front. 

Older children: Help your child expand the print. Tape together several pieces of dark construction paper (all the same color or a variety of colors). Then dry out lots of leaves and lay them across the extended paper. 

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As we approach the holiday season, what’s your kids’ favorite way to communicate with Grandma and Grandpa—whether or not they live nearby?

Parents Talk Back
As we approach the holiday season, what’s your kids’ favorite way to communicate with Grandma and Grandpa—whether or not they live nearby?
In-person visits.
68% (36 votes)
Skype or FaceTime.
19% (10 votes)
Calls via cell phones or landlines.
6% (3 votes)
Handwritten cards and letters.
8% (4 votes)
Total votes: 53