Enjoy Summer Nights with this Moon Phases Activity for Kids

This is the perfect time of the year to get the family outside and gaze at the night sky. The moon is the most recognizable object in the night sky, always there, but always changing. All children notice the moon and even though they might not pay the closest attention they do know that it changes from time to time. When you chart moon phases with children it helps them understand what they are seeing and gives them a better understanding of the moon. Enjoy summer nights with this moon phases activity for kids.

Enjoy Summer Nights with this Moon Phases Activity for Kids

Objectives: This lesson is meant to introduce the phases of the moon to children, why we see different phases of the moon and to teach them the basics of collecting observable data.

Materials: Construction Paper, Colored Pencils, ruler

What to Do: Help children create a calendar that provides for drawing space for each and every day. This might require you to start the calendar off with a day other than Sunday in the first box. Depending on the drawing level of your child you can either have them free draw each night or have them trace out a full circle in each day’s box– which they can just fill in with what they observe each night.

Starting at the beginning of each month, take children outside to observe the moon. Note that only some of the moon is illuminated and appears to us. Have your child draw out the shape of the moon that they see or fill in the circle with what they see for each night. Repeat this every night for a month, at about the same hour.

Discuss: As children begin to observe and record what they are seeing, they will notice that the shape of the moon is changing. Tell them about the different phases of the moon, and see if they can name what moon phase they observe as the month goes along. Discuss why we are able to see the moon at all– light reflected from the sun– and why the reflection is always changing. Watch the Moon Phases video provided in the link. How many days does it take for the moon to go through all its phases (29)?

Moon Phases video:

Vocab:
Lunar Month: the number of days it takes for the moon to complete all eight phases
Moon phase: the period of time s portion of the moon is illuminated
New Moon: when the moon is positioned between the Earth and the Sun
Full Moon: when the Earth, moon and sun are in alignment
Half Moon: includes first and third quarter moon, when the moon is at a 90 degree angle to the Earth and sun

Comments

  1. That’s a really neat activity! We did something like this in our homeschool when our daughter was younger except we used Oreos :) !!

  2. I think this is so awesome! I know the moon fascinates me as an adult so I can just imagine how magical it can look to a child :)

  3. Very cool! I would love to do this with my son!

  4. What a great idea, my daughter is really into space right now. She’d love doing something like this, thanks for sharing!

  5. This is a great activity for learning about astronomy. My daughter would enjoy this.

  6. My son made up a song about the moon phases a couple of years and I’ll be darned if that didn’t make me learn their names. Games and fun work!

  7. What a great idea! My son reallyw ants to learn more about the stars and the sky this summer!

  8. How fun and educational!! I have very fond memories of my uncle teaching me about the moon as a child.

  9. We used to do things like this with my daughter. It was a great way to get her into astronomy!

  10. That’s a great idea for an activity! I love things that are fun and educate at the same time.

  11. I love seeing the moon on a nice evening. It’s so pretty to look at.

  12. I love this. I love the moon and I am always talking to the kids about the phases.

  13. What an amazing activity. I can totally see my daughters loving this.

  14. i have never heard of this before, this not only sounds like fun but super educational too!

  15. This is a great activity to do with kids. My kids are all the time talking about moon and stars so I know they’ll love it.

  16. This would be an awesome science lesson for my kids to learn about the phases of the moon!

  17. What a great idea! This is a perfect for the upcoming nights. I can’t wait to start this for my kids.

  18. What a fund idea! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Such a good idea!

  20. That’s so clever. I would love to do this with my daughter.

  21. Well isn’t that fun yet very interesting. Such a great thing to do with kids.

  22. How fun! We are traveling campgrounds this year, and will have to try this out.

  23. Oh, how fun is this! :)

  24. What a really great idea! I bet my daughter would really love this!

  25. This does look like a fun project. Due to my daughter’s delays we’re quite aways from being able to do this… but someday.

  26. Love this idea, what a great way to encourage learning over the summer

  27. How interesting. My daughter might really like this, especially since we got to see the blood moon and learn about it’s cycles.

  28. My oldest did a huge project about the phases of the moon and the science behind a lunar eclipse this year, so this activity would be great for our entire family!

  29. Kids love learning about the moon phases… this would be a great summer lesson.

  30. That would be a fun summer activity for the kids to do.

  31. My four year old would love something like this!!! He loves science

  32. Birdiebee says:

    This would be so much fun to do with my granddaughter who is so much into science.

  33. This is a great idea too. I think your kids are going to be getting great grades at school. Love this idea for my nephews. Will tell my cousin soon.

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