The last time the kids and I talked about the solar system we mainly concentrated on Building the Planets, this time we decided to talk about stars and constellations. I love this craft because we had to think logically and use our measuring tape to determine how long to cut our yarn and where to place our stars in order to make sure our constellation craft resembled the constellation when hanging on the wall. We did some learning and each kid ended up with a glow in the dark craft hanging up in their room.
We did some googling before creating our craft and looked at constellation maps. We discussed how they are imaginary pictures created by humans using stars in the sky, and they have been around for thousands of years. The printables for this activity includes 4 constellations that I thought would be simple enough for this activity and are easy to find in the sky (Orion, Big dipper, Cygnus, Cassiopeia). Orion can be located by searching for his belt that is made up of 3 stars. The big dipper looks like a laddle, Cygnus is the large triangle in the sky and happens to be one of my favorite constellations (Draco the dragon is another favorite from Astronomy class, but it posed to be a bit too tricky for this activity). Cassiopeia is the “W” in the sky. There are some wonderful Constellation Apps that would go perfectly with this craft.
This post is part of our Creative Preschool theme for the week. In case you missed it, other themes have included Shapes, Science Experiments, Learn About Food, Fine Motor Skills, Hair & Body, Fairy Tales, Ocean, Rain Forest, and Flower & Plants. Make sure to find more Solar System activities at the bottom of this post created by the rest of the team. You may also want to pick up our free Solar System coloring page here.
Glow in the Dark Star Constellation Craft
Glow in the dark stars (2 for every dot on the constellation printable)
Tape or glue
Plastic Straw or wire hanger
Constellation Printable (download at the end of this post)
Ruler or measuring tape
If you don’t have glow in the dark stars you can use white stars cut out of paper, color them with a yellow highlighter, and then use a blacklight to make them glow.
1. To make the hanger for the stars to be attached to, have child string the yarn through the straw and then connect the two ends, and tie a knot to form a triangle.
2. Have child place their stars on the circles on their constellation page. Place the hanger right above the constellation, and place the ruler at the bottom of the hanger to the first star.
3. Count the inches and measure how long the yarn needs to be so the star is hanging in the correct location. Continue on until all the stars have a yarn. Note: Multiple stars may be on one piece of yarn at different heights.
4. Tape 2 stars to the yarn according to every circle on the constellation printable (we only used one star, and the tape started sticking to everything, so make a sandwich with the stars as the bread and the yarn in the middle) Tape or tie the yarn to the hanger and your constellation craft is done.