Twinkle, twinkle little star....It is such nice weather outside at night and my son loves to lay outside on the grass and look up at the stars at night. Last summer he would beg us to stay outside until he saw a shooting star. I do not think he really knew what one was, but he knew that he would be able to stay up later until he saw one!
This activity turned out to be much more successful than I intended! It's simple and you probably have everything you need on hand...
What You Need:
- Round cardboard container similar to an oatmeal container - minus the lid (see above) **
- Pencil or pen
- Push pin or thumb tack
- A dark room (bathroom, closet, laundry room, etc.)
1. Trace a circle onto a piece of paper with your pen or pencil. Make it a little bigger than the hole on your container.
2. Cut out your circle. Find a star chart and trace a few constellations onto the circle. We did the Big Dipper, Cassiopeia and the North Star (added that so that there is something to center them around). I found a book that had a few large enough and easy enough for me to trace. I am sure there are tons online.
3. Tape your circle onto the lid/open side of your round cardboard container (make sure lid is off). Then cut a hole in the bottom of the cardboard container big enough for your flashlight to fit into it.
4. Use a push pin to pop holes into the paper where the stars are. Move the pin around so it is a good, strong hole.
Sorry, white is so hard to photograph with my camera...but you get the general idea.
5. Go into a dark room big enough to fit your group and have some fun with the stars. My flashlight's beam was so strong that I had to aim the beam towards the side of the container and then we could see the "stars" a lot better.
6. Make sure you quiz their knowledge by turning the container and having them tell you where/what each constellation is. Start out with a couple and if they get the hang of it add more. I am sure they are going to surprise you! A couple of nights ago my children were laying on the grass out front waiting for their dad to get home when my 4 year old son said, "Hey Mom, look. There is the Big Dipper." And sure enough it was! Honestly, I did not think that he would really be able to find the constellations I showed him once we got outside because there are so many stars. That was one of those "I feel like a successful mom" moments!
- Try a box if you do not have a round oatmeal-ish container (It will just be harder to have more constellations on the paper)
- Instead of the oatmeal container, use a heavy paper (like, card stock or poster board) and tape that directly onto the flash light. Make the constellations smaller and closer together. My flashlight was too strong of a beam to do this with.
I am off to add some more constellations!
P.S. I am being featured over at Or So She Says today! Come show me some love!