In case you haven’t heard, something pretty spectacular is happening Monday August 21st – a total solar eclipse! And it’s not just any eclipse, it’s being called one of the events of the century. Though a total solar eclipse happens approximately every 18 months, it is only visible from limited areas on the planet, which is why most people will only see one in their lifetime (unless you’re an eclipse chaser ). The path of this eclipse will cut across the U.S. so everyone in the country will be able to see it – though some spots will be better than others. You can enter your zip code on this page for the exact percentage of the eclipse you’ll be able to see and your peak viewing time. You don’t want to miss it because the next chance to see one in the U.S. will be in 2024!
This is a great opportunity to have a summer time science lesson with your kids and do some fun solar themed crafts leading up to the big day. We’ve collected 11 projects that embrace the sun, moon, and even the stars – because when the sky goes dark in the middle of day you’ll be able to see them too!
1. You can hold the whole world, and the rest of the planets, in your hand with this solar system necklace from Handmade Charlotte. With a little paint, wooden beads become a festive addition to your eclipse viewing outfit. (above)
2.Before the eclipse begins, harness the power of the sun to make some amazing art. You can create prints with all sorts of items – natural objects, toys, or crafts supplies. For instructions to make this nautical sun print garland, check out our second book, “Project Kid: Crafts that Go!“.
Make your own solar eclipse viewer! First things first, it is important to remember that it is extremely dangerous to look directly at the sun – even when it’s being blocked by the moon! You can still enjoy the moment though by crafting a simple pinhole viewer to project he shadow of the eclipse. Check out our video to learn how to make your own.
4. If you prefer a softer, less scorching, sun, this pocket-sized softie is a sweet option. It’s so simple to sew that your kids may want to make enough to share. Wouldn’t this be a cute alternative to friendship bracelets? via My Poppet
5. For a themed craft that you’ll be tempted to keep up year round, check out this lovely moon phases mobile from The Merry Thought. It’s both easy and elegant.
To really make this cosmic event a party, craft some mini piñatas! Follow Oh Happy Day’s lead to turn circles into moon phases, or for a sweet treat to match, try cupcakes from the BBC’s Good Foods blog.
7. Babble Dabble Do reinvents the classic math tool as an educational object worthy of display. Help your kids learn about constellations using pins and rubber bands and then let them come up with their own starry designs.
For a dreamier way to bring the stars inside, Martha Stewart shares instructions for a constellation lampshade. Give any shade star power with a coat of blue paint and a few punched holes.
9. Another way to make your own starlight is this diy version of the classic kid’s room staple: glow in the dark stars. Your child’s ceiling is a galaxy waiting to happen, all you need is clay, cookie cutters, and command strips. via Make+Haus
Kids never need an excuse to wear a crown, but this is certainly a stellar occasion. Mermag shows you how to turn cardboard into a glittery headband worthy of a princess.
A tastier way to utilize the sun’s strength is by creating a solar oven! No need for a campfire to make outdoor s’mores, plus you can slip in a lesson about the greenhouse effect while you wait for your treats. Butter with a Side of Bread shows you how.