Rainy Day Suncatchers

by Amanda Freeman August 07, 2017

Moving to Florida two years ago was definitely one of the best decisions our family could have made. I’ll always have a soft spot for fall foliage, pumpkin spice and the elusive snow day, but I’m happy we traded for year-round sun, swimming and a never-ending list of amazing outdoor activities.

That being said, one thing this Philly girl quickly learned is that Florida has two seasons: wet and dry. Half the year it’s dry and warm; the other half the year it’s wet and humid. In fact, living in Florida isn’t unlike living in the UK in that it rains every afternoon for at least 15 minutes.

This presents a major problem for my brood because by the time we get up, eat breakfast and get out the door, the afternoon rainstorms are threatening. What’s a girl-mom to do?!

The good news is that the rain never lasts long in Florida. So, today, when I opened the front door and saw those ominous clouds rolling in and knew the pool was a bust, I came up with Plan B: Create our own sunshine!

Rainy Day Sun Catchers

This craft is perfect for all ages, skill levels and you probably have most of this stuff laying around the house (yay!). Here’s what you need:

  • Paper plates
  • Scissors
  • Paint and paintbrushes
  • Tissue paper (We chose red, yellow and orange for our suns, but get creative! Next time we want to try a turtle with beautiful greens and blues)
  • Transparent contact paper
  • Tape

First, set up your kiddos with a paper plate for their sun catcher, another with their favorite paint colors, brushes, a water cup for rinsing and some paper towel.

Rainy day sun catchers Step 1

Rainy day sun catchers: painting paper plate

H, my 4-year-old, loved this project because it gave her an opportunity to practice a few of her FAVORITE skills: painting AND cutting! I let her get to work decorating her plate.

Note: We cut out the center after she painted it, but I recommend cutting out the center first. The plate is delicate after it’s painted, making it hard to cut.

Once we were finished with our plates, we set them aside to dry. While they were drying, I cut strips of red, orange and yellow tissue paper and H cut them into small squares.

Rainy day sun catchers Step 2: cut up tissue paper

Then, I cut a square of contact paper, peeled off the backing and laid it on the table with the sticky side up. We used a couple of rocks to anchor it. H had a great time sticking on the tissue paper, and even got creative by balling up several squares to create “sun spots.”

Note: I happened to have contact paper on hand, but you could also do this with clear packing tape. The center of the paper plate isn’t very big, so you don’t need a lot. Try tearing off several pieces and sticking them to each other horizontally to create a square big enough for the paper plate. This is DEFINITELY more tedious than contact paper, but it’ll totally work in a pinch!

Rainy day sun catchers step 3When she was finished, I cut another square of contact paper and covered the tissue paper to create a laminated effect. I cut the paper into a circle the size of the center of the paper plate and tapped it on using a bit of glue. And voila! A little bit of sunshine in our very own home.

rainy day sun catchers step 4

rainy day sun catchers step 4

I attached them to the window using a bit of tape and discovered the best treat of all — the sun came out while we were working on our project! Not only did we get to revel in the beauty of our creation, but we also got to throw our suits back on and head to the pool. Gotta love these summer days!

Finished sun catchers on window

Finished sun catcher

P.P.S. H loved this project so much that she asked if we could do it again using some of the flowers and leaves she collects on our evening walks. Brilliant, right?! There are a ton of different ways you could mix up this project. Can’t wait to see what you do! Post pictures in the comments = )