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Child making a woodland sundial

How to Make Your Own Sundial

Before clocks, watches and phones, we used a sundial to tell the time. What is a sundial? It’s an ancient instrument that uses shadows cast by the sun to show the time. And today, a sun sundial makes a great feature or structure in your garden. The best bit is, it’s fun and easy to create your own, personalised sundial!

Here’s what you need and how to make it:

  • Find a thick, sturdy stick
  • 12 rocks, pebbles or stones
  • Some paint or a marker pen
  • A watch or clock (just to get you set up, then you can use nature’s clock)
  1. Start by numbering the rocks 1 to 12, you can paint numbers on them, or paint each one a different colour.
  2. Find a sunny spot that you can return to throughout the day. If you have a garden, this is perfect.
  3. Place the stick in the ground so that it stands upright.
  4. Using your existing watch, check where the stick’s shadow is every hour and mark this using your rocks.
  5. As every hour passes, place a rock in the spot that matches the time so that it’s in the stick's shadow. After 12 hours, you should be left with a circle of rocks around your stick.

And that’s all there is to it.

Who needs a watch when you have a garden sundial in your backyard?

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