A Cool Idea for Learning About Constellations

By flashlight or daylight, this supercool tool for learning about constellations will turn your kid into a night-sky whiz.
Photograph by Allie Cottrill

Star Power

With their awesomely strange names -- we're talking to you, Cassiopeia! -- and back stories spun from myth and legend, constellations are a stellar way to spark an interest in astronomy. This simple viewer lets your child see "stars" by day (by peering through a cardboard tube) or at night (by using a flashlight to project formations on a wall). Make it to use this winter, then, come spring, head outdoors together and get starry-eyed for real.

Make It:

1. Cut ten 1 1/2-inch-wide circles from colored paper, and 1 black paper circle to cover the bottom of a 10 1/2-inch paper plate. Glue the circles in place as shown.

2. Using our template below as a guide, draw the constellations with white pencil.

3. On a stack of newspapers, pierce a hole at each star with a pushpin.

4. With a marker, write the constellation names. Add paper shapes or stickers as desired.

Use it by Day:

In a bright room, place one end of a cardboard or paper tube over a constellation circle, hold the tube and plate up to the light, and peer through the two to see the formation.

Use it by Night:

In a darkened room, hold a flashlight in front of a constellation circle to project the formation onto the wall.

The Skills it Builds: astronomy, cultural history, and observation

Family Fun


Be the first to comment!

All Topics in Educational Games

Parents may receive compensation when you click through and purchase from links contained on this website.