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.)
** See Variations below
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.
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!