5 Solar-Powered Crafts and Activities

These simple crafts and activities are made with the power of good old-fashioned sunshine.

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Colors of the Sun

Tara Donne

Colors of the Sun

Give new life to worn-down crayons. Remove paper from about 20 crayons and seal them in a gallon-size, zip-top plastic bag. Break them up using a hammer. Place 2- to 3-inch cookie cutters onto a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Your kid can fill the cutters with a ½-inch layer of crayon pieces, then place the sheet in direct sunlight until the pieces melt (three to six hours). Let cool for one hour or until solid, then gently pop out of cutters.

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Daylight Designs

Tara Donne

Daylight Designs

Using the sun’s light and treated fabric, your child can make a print of her favorite specimens. Gather toys, trinkets, and natural objects and let the fun begin.

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With a Trace

Tara Donne

With a Trace

Let shadows be your child’s guide for this activity. In the morning (8 a.m.) or late afternoon (4 p.m.), place a table in a sunny spot where long shadows will be cast. Unroll paper (Easel Paper Roll, $14; alexbrands.com) along one side of the table, and arrange a variety of objects along the paper’s edge. Have your child trace the shadows with markers.

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Sun Tea

Tara Donne

Sun Tea

A refreshing treat that’s easy to make: Fill a 64-ounce glass jar—be sure it’s thoroughly washed—with 6 to 8 cups of water. Then, with clean hands, add tea and prewashed fruit or herbs. Cover loosely with a breathable cloth, place in direct sunlight, and steep for three hours. Stir in sugar or honey to taste, and serve over ice. Teas can be kept in the refrigerator for up to one week.

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Ray Catcher

Tara Donne

Ray Catcher

Hang this mobile in a light-filled window to really let it glimmer and glow. Just be sure to keep it out of reach of little kids; the beads are a choking hazard.