Like so many other small children, N loves the moon. He likes to look out for it going down in the morning, and goes through phases of asking for it at night. He also tells his dad about the man in the moon. As for crescent moons…I’ve not yet done the jaffa cake version with him, instead he does his own version. He holds up any piece of food in that shape and says it’s a crescent moon. (usually bread or toast, but the other week, he was talking about a banana moon, so not sure what he was getting at there).
So I’ve been meaning to make these star telescopes for a while. If you make them over the summer, you’ll be ready in preparation for star gazing once the nights draw in again.
I remember making them at Brownies all those years ago, and remembered my constellations for years. Not so hot now (like with my nature knowledge) – it’s terrible how you lose the knowledge of certain things you learn at school age. These are a great way to teach children constellations.
What you need:
- Cardboard tubes. I used toilet rolls, which the OH then flipped about as he said it was unhygienic, so I suppose kitchen roll tubes would be better. You can cut to whatever length you want.
- Black paper. I used tissue paper which isn’t great because it’s not dark enough, but I couldn’t find any dark card or paper around the house.
- Elastic bands
1, Cut pieces of black paper large enough to be folded over the tubes. I cut squares, but circles would do the job too.
2, Choose your star constellations. Depending on the width of your tubes, you might need to choose small ones so they’ll fit.
3, Draw the constellation on the black paper – make sure you hold it over the top of the tube so you keep within the right size.
4, Use the pin to make holes in the paper. This is quite hard on tissue paper to not rip it, but using black paper should be easier. You need the holes to be a reasonable size.
5, Place the paper over the top of a cardboard tube (make sure the constellation is facing the right direction when you look through the other end of the tube). Tie on with an elastic band.
6, Repeat for different star constellations (I noted down the names on the side of the tubes).
You can view them just looking towards the light. I tried putting a torch inside and making the constellation shine. As I mentioned, the tissue paper isn’t really thick enough, but the shapes were still recognisable.
I’ll be using these with N when we next talk about the moon and stars. Bringing the night time to him so he doesn’t miss it while asleep.
If you want to take it to the next level, why not check out my fun activities to teach the night sky, moon and more post.
Do you have any star or moon crafts you can share? And let me know how you get on with these.
Why not take a look at these craft posts.
Or take a look at Marie’s post over at Christian Montessori Network’s astronomy based activities