MOON ACTIVITIES FOR
|According to NASA's science newsletter for 20 June 2005....
week! Sometimes you can't believe your eyes. This week is one of those
times. Step outside any evening at sunset and look around. You'll see a
giant moon rising in the east. It looks like Earth's moon, round and
cratered; the Man in the Moon is in his usual place. But something's
wrong. This full moon is strangely inflated. It's huge! You've just
experienced the Moon Illusion. Sky watchers have known this for
thousands of years: moons hanging low in the sky look unnaturally big.
Cameras don't see it, but our eyes do. It's a real illusion."
You can find more information about this at: Science at NASA: Summer Moon
Before taking your child outside to see the humongous full moon, you may want
to inform yourself about the moon in a way that will allow you to easily explain it
to your child. NASA offers two websites that contain pictures of the moon along
with a brief, simple explanation about the moon that you can paraphrase in a
way your child may understand at:
The Moon: Earth's Satellite (Very simple description.) and
Exploration: The Moon (Simple, but with more facts.)
Now, just because you give your child real information about the moon doesn't
mean they won't appreciate whimsical stories about the moon. Here are six
great story and picture books with moon themes (read one each night) that will
fire up their imaginations (available at your library or through amazon.com):
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This is the classic bedtime story where a child says goodnight to all of the
familiar things at home, and says goodnight to the moon as well. I think every
family that ever read this story has probably acted out its pages. I know this
story inspired my husband and I to take our sons in arms and walk through the
house saying goodnight to every stuffed animal, piece of furniture, plant, and of
course, we always had to stop at the window and say goodnight to the moon.
Grandfather Twilight By Barbara Berger
I think this is one of the very best night-time stories to read with young children.
It tells the story of Grandfather Twilight who takes a pearl from his treasure chest
each night, and then walks through the woods to perform his magical task of
installing the moonlight. The illustrations are awash in moonglow.
Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch
This beloved tale is about a little bear who thinks the moon is a creature he can
talk to. He decides to celebrate Moon's birthday by presenting him with a
birthday hat. The story is simple and magical from start to finish.
Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle
You probably know Eric Carle from his books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, The
Very Quiet Cricket, The Very Busy Spider, etc. In this book he uses the same
wonderful elements of fold-out pages, holes, pop-ups, textures, extensions, etc.,
to tell the story of a little girl who asks her farther for the moon. It includes a very
long ladder that reaches to the moon and back and a 4-page centrefold of the
full moon that is certain to thrill your preschooler.
When Moon Fell Down by Linda Smith
This story for ages 3-5, is the tale of how the moon falls down from the sky one
night. He meets some farm animals and together they view the world in a whole
Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
This story is the winner of the 2005 Caldecott Medal and a New York Times best
seller. I haven't seen it yet, but here's a short description from the publisher: "It's
a special night for Kitten. Looking out from the porch, she sees it: a bowl of
delicious milk in the sky. Actually, it's the first full moon she's seen, but she's
determined to lap it up."
Compare and Contrast
While observing this big, beautiful, mysterious full moon be sure to talk about
what you see: what shape is the moon, what color is it, does it look smooth or
rough, is it low or high in the sky, is it close or far away, is it big or little, is it bright
or dull, is it light or dark? Talking about your observations helps your child to
understand concepts such as comparing and contrasting opposites -- all
important skills for language arts development.
Moon Rhymes With...
While you're at it, try to think of words that rhyme with the word "moon." For
example: room, broom, spoon, zoom, noon, soon, croon, balloon -- and although
not spelt the same way -- these words sound the same: June and tune. Can you
think of others?
How about reciting some Moon Nursery Rhymes...
~The Man In The Moon~
The man in the moon came tumbling down
And asked his way to Norwich;
He went by the south and burnt his mouth
With supping cold pease porridge.
~I See The Moon~
I see the moon,
And the moon sees me;
God bless the moon,
And God bless me!
~The Man In The Moon~
The Man in the moon
Looked out of the moon,
And this is what he said,
It's time that now I'm getting up,
All children went to bed.
Make Your Own Moon
Here are a few variations...
Paper Plate Moon
Take a white paper plate and invite your child to glue oats, rice or other grains
and cereals on it to create the crater-like effect of the surface of the moon. Let
it dry and hang it high on the wall, or attach it to the ceiling of the bedroom.
Paper Plate Glow In The Dark Moon
Paint one side of a white paper plate with glow-in-the-dark paint. (You can get
this at craft stores or online) Let it dry, then expose it to lamp-light for an hour.
Put the paper plate on the wall or attach it to the ceiling and turn off the lights.
Enjoy the "moonglow."
Glow-In-The-Dark Balloon Moon
Paint a white, inflated, latex balloon (about 9-11") with glow-in-the-dark paint.
(Available at craft stores.) Let it dry. Explose it to lamp-light for an hour. Hang
the balloon from the ceiling. Turn off the lights and bask in the "moonlight."
Variation: You could get a white balloon inflated with helium and paint it with
glow-in-the-dark paint. Then, after exposure to lamp-light, turn the lights off and
watch your "moon" float across the room.
Note: Painted cardboard cut-out star shapes with glow-in the dark paint and
attached them to the ceiling in their rooms. It really helped them feel safe in
the darkened room as they drifted off to sleep each night. You can purchase
glow-in-the-dark star stickers from party supply stores. You can also get them
along with glow-in-the-dark moon balls.
With a little imagination ordinary foods can remind you of the moon...
Round rice crackers spread with cream cheese resemble the moon. Use raisins
or other bits of dried fruit and nuts to make a man-in-the-moon face.
Pancakes can be made in many shapes to represent the phases of the moon --
from crescent moons to full moons!
Make your favourite batch of round sugar cookies. When they come out of the
oven allow them to cool for about 2 minutes. Then roll them in powdered sugar,
put them on racks to cool completely. Once completely cooled, roll them in
powdered sugar again. Enjoy these melt-in-your-mouth Sugar Moons.
More Moon Activities
Free alphabet dot-to-dot printable of a crescent moon. Print it out, do the dot-
to-dot activity, and colour it in!
Magical Moon Rocks
For those of you who enjoy the illusion of magic and like to share it with your
children, here's a fun idea... Invite your child to help you find a few small rocks in
the yard, or around the neighbourhood. Explain that you are going to use the
rocks to try to capture some moonglow. Place the rocks in a special place
where they will be bathed in the light of the full moon for several nights. Explain
that if it works, the rocks may start to glow.
Without giving this secret away -- on the second day, paint the rocks with glow-
in-the-dark paint and expose them to bright light. Put them back in the special
spot where they can soak up the moonlight. That night, the rocks should glow in
Show your child the magical moon rocks! Then, hide the rocks in the backyard
and invite the family to play a game of moonrock hide-and- seek.
All Night and All Day
1. Collect pictures of children, families and animals involved in activiites
related to nighttime (sleeping, wearing pajamas, using flashlights, animals in the
dark) and daytime (playing outside, hiking, animals in daylight).
2. Laminate or cover with clear self-adhesive paper for durability if desired.
3. Put the pictures out in a basket or shoe box for kids to look at on their own,
during circle time talk with them about the activities in the pictures.
4. Divide a poster board or large sheet of paper into two sections. On one side
draw a large sun, blue sky and on the other side draw a dark sky with moon and
5. Encourage kids to place the pictures of daytime activities on the "sunny side"
and the night pictures on the "dark side".
Basic Concepts to Teach:
-A whole day lasts 24 hours and consists of both day (light) and night (dark).
-The sun rises in the east, is high in the sky by noon, and sets in the west.
-The sun is a big star. It gives off light and heat all the time.
-It is lighter and warmer during the day because our part of the earth is turned
toward the sun then.
-Daytime is from the times rises (sunrise) until the sun sets (sunset).
-Nightime is from the time the sun sets until the sun rises.
-Sometimes the daylight lasts longer than the darkness (in summer) and at other
times the darkness lasts longer than the light (in winter).
-At night it is darker and colder because our part of the earth is turned away
from the sun then.
-Night is nice (stress pleasant aspects of night.) It is a good time to sleep and
-When it is day in our half of the work, it is night in the other part of the work.
-The time between sunrise and noon (midday) is called morning. The time
between noon and the evening meal is called afternoon and the time after
sunset is called night.
-People wear different clothes for the many things they do during the day and
night such as work clothes, play clothes, party clothes, night clothes (pyjamas).
-The stars shine all the time. We do not see the stars in the daytime because the
sunlight is so bright that we cannot see them.
-Most stars are so far away that we see them as tiny dots of light at night.
-Some stars look like they are groups together. These groups are called
-The moon is an object (satellite) that orbits our earth.
-The moon shines at night because the sunshine is reflecting off of it. The light we
see is called moonlight.
-Clouds may hide the sun and stars from our view.
-The sun may cause our skin to become tan or to burn.
Vocabulary to Introduce:
Call attention to the children's shadows and the shadows of other objects.
Measure the children's shadows in the morning, at noon, and before they leave
in the afternoon, all at the same spot. Pound a long stick in the ground in an
open spot. Measure the length of its shadow at different times of the day.
Discuss why this happens with the children.
Indoors, have the children look for their shadows. Use a flashlight as the sun and
a stand up doll as a person. Let each child discover how to make long and short
shadows on all sides of the doll. How do you make the shadow disappear? Use a
bright light on a movie screen, sheet or a light colored wall and let the children
make shadow pictures.
Heat of the Sun:
Discuss how the sun burns us. This can be a good time to introduce the use of
sunblock and sunglasses to protect our eyes and skin. The children can stand in
the sun and then in the shade to feel the difference in temperature. A teacher
can demonstrate how the sun can burn by using a magnifying glass to burn a
hole in a piece of paper.
Day and Night:
On a globe, place a small paper figure on the location of where you live. Stick a
paper figure on the opposite side too. Darken the room and use a flashlight to
represent the sun. Turn the globe slowly. The children can observe what causes
day and night.
If possible darken an area of the room with drapes, sheets over a card table,
turning off a light. You can set up the room in daytime areas and nighttime
areas with appropriate dress-up clothing.
Plan a slumber party day, when the children can wear their pyjamas, slippers,
etc to school and bring a favourite blanket, sleeping bag or stuffed animal to
cuddle. You can talk about any nighttime fears and read There's a Nightmare in
My Closet or There's an Alligator Under My Bed by Mercer Mayer.
I See Something What Do You See?
I see something round like the moon; black like the night; yellow light the sun;
pointed like a star.
Match Them: use cut outs of the sun, stars, and phases of the moon to match
shapes. If you cut them out of wallpaper samples, you can match by patterns or
1. use an old window shade of a dark colour. Have them children use white
crayons or chalk to draw the sky at night. Or let the children use bobbi-pins to
punch constellation holes in the shade. When you hold the shade up to a
window the light will shine through to make starlight.
2. Splatter white paint on black or blue paper or use a spray bottle to create a
starry night picture. Children can add moon or constellation with a paint brush
3. Do night/day pictures by placing a dark sheet of paper next to a light piece
of paper. Have the children glue on appropriate clothing items on each page.
Sunshine Breakfast Biscuits--
Use 1 package refrigerator biscuits.
Pat each biscuit into a 3" circle.
Place on a greased cookie sheet.
To make the rays of the sun, press a plastic knife into the dough, not cutting
Press your thumb into the centrr of each biscuit and drop about 1/2 tsp. orange
marmalade into depression.
Bake at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes.
Cut a big circle from yellow construction paper. Glue onto blue construction
paper. Draw a happy face on cirlce and draw rays around sun. Tear yellow foam
egg cartons into small pieces and glue along rays you have drawn.
Yellow powdered tempera, salt or sand, shaker containers, rock, Q-tips, Glue
Mix powdered yellow tempera paint with salt or sand and pour it into shaker
containers. Give each of the children a rock that has a smooth surface. Give
them use Q-Tips to draw suns on their rocks with white glue. Then let them
sprinkle the yellow salt or sand over the glue.
On a warm, calm, summer night,
You might see a yellow light
Dart in the air from bush to tree.
Whatever can that bright light be?
Go get a jar, with a lid that's tight,
And try to catch your own night light!
Colour a piece of paper with yellow crayon. Mix a small amount of liquid soap
into black paint (soap helps paint stick to waxy crayon). Paint over the yellow
crayon. Let dry. When dry scratch off paint to make stars and moons.
On a sunny day get the children to draw around a shadow - in the morning, at
noon and in the evening. During this time they can see the different things
shadows do and where they move.
A clock can be made with a circle of cardboard or a paper plate, a paper
fastener and something for the hands for example leaves. Put the hands of the
made clock on a selected time and place it next to a real clock. Then watch
the clocks from time to time till they read the same time. (Helps develop the
concept of time passing).
Staple two paper plates together back-to-back. Get the children to paint on
side black and sprinkle it with gold glitter, then paint the other side a bright
Potato print with star and moon shapes.
Let the children roller paint a sheet of paper with black paint and then while
wet sprinkle with gold glitter or when dry use glue and gold glitter.
String paint with a piece of string dipped in black paint.
Paint a paper cylinder black and then glue on foil shapes of stars and moons.
Place a piece of paper in the bottom of a baking tray or small box. Add a bit of
black paint and some golf ball or marbles. Then the children move these
backwards and forwards to spread the paint and make a pattern.
Use foam paint rollers over the top of paper or plastic doilies. Do this on
coloured or white or coloured paper. Lift of for an interesting pattern.
Use cotton balls with black paint.
Use black paint on an easel.
Make black Playdough.
Make star gazers out of toilet paper rolls and wax paper.
Colour with glow in the dark crayons.
Talk about Night Animals and what they do. Owl Babies is a great book for night
time animals. Discuss animal sleeping habits. Find out what animals sleep during
the day and are awake at night. What animals are heard first thing in the
morning? Where do animals sleep and in what position do they sleep? Choose
some animals to pantomime while they are asleep.
Decorate boxes like little beds for their stuffed animals.
Ready for bed:
Find out what each child does before going to bed. Ask questions like who
takes a bath? Who listens to a story? Talk about the different ways everyone
gets ready for bed. Have on hand some of the things children might use when
getting ready for bed. Some suggestions are a toothbrush, toothpaste,
washcloth, soap, book, glass of water and blanket. Ask the children to recall
and share their bedtime routines. Use the props to act them out. This is a good
activity for sequencing.
Read story, flannel board re-telling and then set up Goodnight Moon Room with
all the objects set up like the book. Have children bring flashlights to school and
as you re-tell the story have them shine flashlights on the objects.
DAY AND NIGHT ON THE GLOBE
One good way to show why we have night and day is to take a globe that spins
on its base and a flashlight (to be the Sun) into a dark room or hallway. Hold the
flashlight far enough away that it will light up half the globe at once, and then
have a helper spin the globe slowly. (Make sure it's spinning in the correct
direction - from West to East!) Everywhere that is lit up is having day, and
everywhere that is dark is having night. This is a nice visual way to explain the
Make night pictures with blue or black construction paper. Have the children
put anything on the paper that relates to the sky. I did this with my preschool
class (3 yr.olds) and then we wrote planet stories too. I did a lot of things with
planets. We made a planet out of paper mache. The children drew their own
planets and told me stories about their planets.
Music: Sing Twinkle , Twinkle , Little Star.
Too Many in the Bed
Sing or chant:
There were three in the bed (hold up three fingers)
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
and one fell out.
There were two in the bed (hold up two fingers)
And the little one said
"Roll over, roll over"
So they all rolled over
and one fell out.
There was one in the bed (hold up pinky)
And the little one said "Good Night" (place hand to head pretend to be asleep)
Have the kids practice rolling on the round for related motor skills activity. Can
start the verse with five or ten, depending on age group. Can also use felt
figures and flannel board to illustrate.
Look at pictures of different animals and people sleeping. Talk about the
position (laying down, curled up, standing up, upside down) and where the
creature is sleeping (bed, floor, cave, tree). Encourage the kids to pretend to
be different people and animals sleeping while singing verses (to "Mulberry
This is the way the baby sleeps,
The baby sleeps, the baby sleeps (curl up with knees to chest)
This is the way the baby sleeps
In his little crib!
This is the way the daddy sleeps . . . (on back, arms outstretched)
In his big bed!
This is the way the dogs sleep (lay on side)
On the floor!
This is the way the horses sleep (on hands and knees with head down)
In the barn!
This is the way the ducks sleep (stand on one leg with head down)
In the tall grass! etc. etc.
End the activity with:
This is the way that I sleep (any position)In my bed! (pretend to sleep for a few
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