Just for Today

Just for Today

In Just for Today, a beautifully illustrated setting of a well-loved meditation by Saint John XXIII, the “good pope” encourages children to live — just for today — in peace and virtue, reminding them that “I can easily do, for twelve hours, what I would find discouraging if I thought I had to do for a lifetime.”

Help children mark the hours of one good day with this handheld mini-sundial, which features illustrations from the book by Bimba Landmann.


  • String
  • Tape
  • Double-sided tape or glue
  • Scissors
  • Thin cardboard or sturdy paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Printed templates (time, latitude, cover)

 Step 1: Print the paper templates, cut around the edges, and color them as desired.

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Step 2: Cut slits into the template along the dotted lines, taking care only to cut up to the solid lines.

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Step 3: Glue the “cover” template onto cardboard or stiff paper, trim off any excess, and re-cut along the dotted lines.

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Step 4: Fold the templates along solid lines, making sure to fold the flaps backwards to the blank side of the paper. You should end up having little flaps on the ends of the rectangles.

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Step 5: Using glue or double sided sticky tape, attach the flaps to the back of the adjacent larger rectangle. The top half of the box template (which will contain the image of the clock) the rectangle should only have 3 edges. The bottom half of the box will have 4 edges.

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Step 6: Fold the box in half so that the edges on the bottom of the box fit inside the edges of the top part of the box.


Step 7: Fold the time template in the same way as the the bottom part of the box. Again, make sure that the edges are folded away from the image.

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Step 8: Attach the very bottom (or extra) flap of the time template to the bottom half of the box, so that the bottom edge of the bottom section of the box is flush with the edge of the first bottom flap at the bottom of the time template.

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Step 9: Use a pencil or other sharp object to poke a hole through the circle of the time template.


Step 10: Look up the latitude of your current geographical location, then poke a hole through the approximate corresponding latitude within the list of degrees on the angle template.

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Step 11: Cut a 4½ inch long piece of string and tie a knot at one end. Thread the opposite end through the back side of the time template. Use a piece of tape to secure the string to the back side of the time template. Then feed the string through the front side of the degree template and attach the string to the bottom of the top section of the box template. Make sure the string is taut when the box is opened to a 90 degree angle.

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Step 12: Using tape or glue, attach the degree template to the bottom of the top section of the box.

To use the sundial go outside and stand so that you are facing north. Open the box so that the bottom half of the box is flat to the ground and the top half of the box is opened to a 90 degree angle. The shadow of the string should be covering the line with the current time.


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About Crafting with Jessica:

By day, Jessica VanBuren is a mild-mannered sales rep for Eerdmans.

By night (and sometimes also by day), she’s a crafting maven, who puts her skills to good use thinking up fun crafts that tie into Eerdmans books. 

Look for her regular column here on Eerdlings and discover a new book-related craft every month.