Throughout the ages, people, animals and even plants have been using the sun to tell time.  The Earth revolves around the sun at a constant speed.  On Earth, it looks like the sun rises in the east and then sets in the west, moving across the sky in a predictable way.  With a sundial, you can use the sun to reliably tell time throughout the day. For today’s challenge, try to create your very own sundial – let’s hope the sun keeps shining!

You will need:

  • stick
  • stones or chalk
  • play dough or blu-tack
  • watch or clock (to check!)


  1. Find a sunny spot outside.
  2. Put the stick in the ground.  If you are using a hard surface (e.g. window ledge or patio), use the play dough or blu-tack to prop the stick upright.
  3. Throughout the day, place a rock, or mark with chalk for each hour indicating where the shadow falls at that time.  Depending on your time, you may have to place rocks over a couple of days before your sundial is complete.

Now your sundial is ready to use.  When you want to tell the time, just look for the shadow.  In the picture below, the stones are used to mark each hour from 7am to 7pm.  The picture was taken at 9:15 in the morning.

In the beginning, you may find it hard to be very precise. With a bit of practice, you should be able to tell time to the nearest 15 minutes, and maybe even more closely.

Remember to send in your photos to