Also known as, why did it have to rain on that day? It’s very hard to do sun experiments for your homeschool science when there is no sun. But, we gave it the old college try, and the kids learned some from it.
Update: We did these experiments as part of our lessons with My Father’s World From A to Z (affiliate link, looks to only be the teacher manual, not the full kit). At the bottom, I’ll link to some experiments for older kids.
Sun Experiment 1: make raisins
First we got some grapes. We put these in little metal cups to see how long it would take to turn into raisins. It took about 5-6 days, and they’re kind of raisiny looking now. I will say if you want instant results experiment that is not it. Go for the next one:
Sun Experiment 2: Shadow measuring
I first did this experiment back when I was teaching first grade, only then we did it for Groundhog’s Day, and I had a cute little groundhog puppet they stuck in the ground and measured the shadow. Not super accurate because the grass really threw the shadows off, but the kids loved it.
We started off the morning lining everyone up on the sidewalk and drawing a box around them. That was so I knew where to have them stand next time we came out.
Then I drew a line where their shadow ended and then have them make a prediction of where their shadow would be when we came out again.
We would come out approximately once an hour. Each time we came out our shadows had grown shorter. The boys eventually caught on and changed their predictions to reflect that.
After our 1:00 measuring they went in for their nap. When we came out at 3:00 the clouds had covered up the sun, so no shadow. Instead, they got to predict why they didn’t have a shadow. They all were able to explain that the sun was hiding behind the clouds. Score!
At 3:00 the experiment was called on account of rain, but they were still able to see how their shadows moved, so they learned most of the concept.
More kindergarten ideas
- Archeology dig
- Me on the Map: Reading a map lesson
- Where is the baby plant in the peanut?
- Great Wall of China lesson
- Liberty Bell craft
Looking for more Sun experiments?
- Sun unit for older kids
- Sun unit from Bright Ideas Press
- Sun lesson from Finding the Teachable Moments
Originally published on August 19, 2009 (wow, that’s a full 10 years ago almost!)