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Garden Sundial | Easy Crafts for Kids

Garden Sundial

Total Time Needed: Afternoon Or Evening

This sundial may not have Swiss precision, but we think that's somehow fitting for summer's more relaxed pace.


  • Polymer clay (such as Fimo)
  • Chopstick
  • Terra-cotta plant saucer
  • Protractor and compass
  • Enamel paint and brushes


Roll a small ball of the clay, stick the chopstick pointer (called a gnomon) into it, then press the clay onto the center of the upside-down saucer. The angle between the gnomon and the saucer should be the same as the latitude where you live (between 24 and 49 degrees for most states).

Gently remove the gnomon, bake the clay according to the directions, then glue the gnomon and clay ball back in place.

Set the dial outside on a level surface with the gnomon pointing north. At noon, mark where the gnomon's shadow falls on the plate's perimeter. Without moving the plate, mark off the afternoon and next morning's hours.

Decorate the dial with paints, then secure it in its original position. It will be accurate if you don't move it, and remember to reset it when daylight saving time is over.