Friday, May 15, 2015

Light Catcher

With summer on its way we have been enjoying all the time outdoors, especially the fresh air and sun shine!   Of course, being outside is a fun way to still experiment and learn.   We thought it would be fun to make our own sun catcher to explore colors and enjoy the sunlight.  You might be asking what a sun catcher is?  It is like a wind-chime but instead of making noise it reflects colors.

I started the night before preparing the supplies by cutting squares of colored cellophane and laminating them so that they would be stronger.  The yellow cellophane was not very dark so I put two layers of yellow on top of each other and laminated them together to make it darker.

The next morning, the girls and I sat down and looked at the colored papers.  We held them up to the light and saw that in the sunlight they would make a colored square appear on the ground.   It was really fun to see the colors appear.

We then started to hold the colors on top of each other so that you combined colors together.   The girls were excited to see that red and yellow made orange and blue and yellow made green.  This lead to a great discussion about how red, blue and yellow are primary colors while orange, green and purple are secondary colors.

We bent the ends of pipe cleaners of matching colors.  I had also punched holes in each of the colored sheets and we threaded them onto pipe cleaners of matching colors.  These pipe cleaners were hooked into holes in a toilet paper roll.   

We took our time adding the colors thinking about which colors would go in which order.  If we started with orange then we put red on one side and yellow on the other and continued around.  The girls thought it was fun to see that the colors were in the same order as a rainbow!  Finally a handle was made using a black pipe cleaner threaded through two holes at the top of the paper roll.   We could then hang our light catcher up and admire all the colors in the light.

We hope you have fun decorating and making your sun catchers!

  • 1 black pipecleaner
  • 1 toilet paper roll
  • 1 hole punch
  • 1 red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple pipe cleaner
  • red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple cellophane
  • laminator (optional)

1.  Bend the ends of each pipe cleaner to make hooks.
2.  Punch 6 holes around the bottom of the toilet paper roll and 2 holes at the top for the handle.
3.  Cut a 2 inch by 2 inch square of each of the colors of cellophane and laminate them.
4.  Punch a hole at the top of each colored piece of laminated paper.
5.  Take the laminated cellophane outside and look at the colors in the sunlight.  Also look at what happens when you make combinations of colors.
6.  Take each colored laminated paper and hook onto one end of the pipe cleaners.  Pinch the pipe cleaner to help keep it on.
7.  Hook the other end of the pipe cleaner onto one of the 6 holes.  Try and order the colors like a color wheel: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.
8.  Thread the black pipe cleaner through the two holes at the top and twist together to make a handle.
9. Hang in a sunny place and enjoy!


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