DIY Sunprints

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In this activity, learners will see how UV light affects colors over time by making their own sunprint on construction paper. Using flat objects, learners will set up a design on construction paper and place it in the sun for 1-3 hours. Afterwards, they will remove the objects to see what is left behind on their paper. The activity includes a time and age recommendation, a materials list, step-by-step set up instructions, tips for adults, learning and skills connections, a "what's going on" section, and a note about doing STEAM with kids.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
10 to 30 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per student

Age Range:
Ages 6 - adult

Resource Type:


Materials List (per student)

  • Dark colored construction paper
  • Flat objects with interesting shapes (such as natural materials like rocks, leaves, and shells, cookie cutters, small toys, coins, coasters, beads, buttons)
  • Heavy objects like rocks to hold things in place (or clear tape)
  • Optional: Markers, crayons, and/or colored pencils


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Earth, Moon and Sun
  • Physical Sciences
    • Vibration and Waves
      • Light and Optics

Informal Categories

  • Arts and Crafts
  • Nature and Environment


Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All rights reserved, Boston Children's Museum, 2021