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:

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

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  1. says

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

  2. says

    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!

  3. says

    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.

  4. says

    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!

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