The Sun Print Kit is available two sizes:
- Standard size: square sheets of 10cm by 10cm (12 sheets included)
- SUPER size: rectangular sheets of 20cm by 30cm (12 sheets included)
In an age of digital photography there is something immensely appealing about exposing (pardon the pun!) children to the science of light exposure creating a print. This Sun Print Kit offers this experience by providing an artistic activity and a scientific experiment in one.
It is also open-ended, providing a point of interest which can spark a deep exploration and lots of repetition! Once a child masters the simple steps of the Sun Print then he or she can independently repeat the activity again and again to create different pictures and patterns. It is a safe and simple process, with all the required components in the kit, so there is no need for excessive adult intervention.
The kit contains 12 sheets of special sun print paper (small squares measuring 10cm x 10cm) and an acrylic overlay to place on top of the sheets during exposure.
The process is easy (learn more and see photos here):
- Choose your object(s) to make your pattern and, in an area away from sunlight, arrange them on the paper (preferably on top of a stiff board or cardboard).
- Place the acrylic overlay on top of the object (if needed).
- Take the arrangement outside (carrying it on the board / cardboard can stop the objects from moving out of their position).
- Leave it in direct sunlight for 2-5 minutes (or in lower light leave it for longer, until the exposed parts of the paper turn white).
- Rinse the sun print in water and watch the colours swap (leave in water for 1 - 5 minutes).
- Lay on an absorbent surface to dry - and then enjoy your artwork!
I also appreciate that the Sun Print Kit provides scope for a wide range of experiences and levels of complexity.
For a Pre-school child there is the simple and awe-inspiring fun of choosing an object to place on the sheet to create a recognisable silhouette print.
For an older child there is the more technical scientific aspect of learning to comprehend the processes at work here. In a nutshell: two molecules in the paper interact upon exposure to the ultraviolet rays of sunlight and this creates a new molecule. These changes in molecular structure are represented by the changes in the colour of the paper.
The older child (and even some grown ups!) will also find challenge and delight in equal measure in trying to create more elaborate, complex artistic patterns or pictures.
The patterns of the sun prints can also be used as the basis for other craft creations; such as origami folding or creating paper fans.
A variety of suggested activities (both artistic and scientific) are available here.
*All images courtesy of the Flickr feed as featured in the gallery on the Sun Prints website.