This November, Life is a Garden is helping the whole family get into the spring of things by celebrating our South African sunshine. Here’s an educational, hands-on project all about time, the Earth’s rotation, and our life-supporting sun. Get ready scientists and explorers, time is upon us!
Did you know? The sundial is the oldest known instrument for telling time! This ancient, mysterious doohickey tracks the position of the sun using a gnomon, which is the centrepiece of the sundial that indicates time by the position of its shadow. Up until the early 19th century, sundials were the main instrument people used to tell time. When correctly positioned, sundials can even tell time down to the minute!
You will need:
Sunny Suggestion: Instead of using pebbles as hour placeholders, you could also use little succulent or cactus pots! Your garden centre has THE cutest variety of mini cactus pots and this DIY is the perfect opportunity to home a couple. If you’re going for the potted look, you could use the underside of a pot as your clock base too!
3. Paint: To paint numbers of the clock onto each stone and decorate as desired.
4. A dell stick for the gnomon: This is the centrepiece of the sundial that when the sun hits it, a shadow is cast onto the wooden clock base indicating time.
5. A compass or Aunty Google: You will need to find true North to accurately position your sundial.
6. Some super glue, a sunny spot in the garden, and an analogue watch.
A DIY garden sundial is an excellent opportunity to get kids outdoors, inspire a thirst for exploration, create awareness for the vastness of our universe, and teach a thing or two about the evolution of time and life on Earth.