All things outer space have been a constant interest of both Big Brother and Little Sister this past year. We have been busy reading different books about space, making solar systems and constellation crafts, and doing outer space themed puzzles. Today I am sharing all the different ways the kids have been learning about constellations.
We are also taking part in an A-Z STEM series with TONS of other bloggers who are all sharing multiple activities for each letter that fit into a STEM learning theme. Not sure what STEM means, read this super helpful post from Little Bins for Little Hands where she explains all about it. Our post will cover all of them: S – Science, T – Technology, E – Engineering, M – Math.
Activities for Learning about Constellations
My kids love using the SkyView App to view the stars and learn about all the different constellations. My hubby is also addicted to the app….he, he. It’s simple to use. My daughter started to use it at age 3 to play a game of finding the different constellations and planets. It’s such a great educational app for both kids and adults.
All you have to do is aim your ipad or iphone towards the sky. Tip – move it slowly so you don’t miss anything. Lines and drawings will pop up when you find something. Press the button while aiming at it to learn what it is and all kinds of fun facts (press the button multiple times to learn more).
This fun app has kept the kids busy during appointments and at home. They never seem to tire of it either.
Have the kids count the number of [main] stars that belong to each constellation. It would be neat to also make a chart for the kids to keep track of how many are found in different amounts – for example, Scorpius has 15 main stars so write Scorpius in the 15 column or make tally marks, color the box or any other fun chart method you think up!
We also ordered several outer space themed books from my son’s Scholastic order that he brought home from school. One of them is Scratch It! Constellations. It’s a small book that has step-by-step instructions for 13 different constellations plus 4 stencils. It’s so perfect for my little explorer because he loves learning about them and there are a few new ones that we haven’t come across yet. Will update with photos soon!
Build Toothpick Constellations
All you need are toothpicks and marshmallows for this fun activity! The kids viewed the SkyView app mentioned above to pick out the constellations they wanted to make. Little Sister chose to make the Big Dipper while Big Brother chose to make the Scorpius constellation. We learned which ones are our zodiac signs which is why he chose to make that one!
We looked at the line drawings shown in the app to create toothpicks in the different sizes needed for each. We just used a scissors to cut it. After you have your designed laid out, place marshmallows in between to connect all the pieces. As usual, Little Sister wanted to eat the marshmallows instead…. LOL!
They loved their toothpick structures so much that they ended up making more designs (a person, pyramid, and others).
Glow-in-the-dark Foam Star Constellations Crafts
*We received the glow-in-the-dark stickers and glitter free from Horizon Group. Please read our full disclosure policy here.
Either look at photos or use the SkyView app like we did to see how to make each constellation. Little Sister chose the Big Dipper again and my son chose to make Orion. Orion was a little bit harder to make since we had to squeeze it all on a regular-sized sheet of construction paper. A larger sheet would make it easier or even smaller star stickers.
Lightly sketch an outline or place dots where the stars go. Then have the kids match the dots by placing a sticker on top of it.
Connect each star by drawing a line with the glitter glue. Now you have your very own starry night right in the kid’s bedroom. Both my little ones were so excited to see their artwork glow-in-the-dark.
More STEM Activities
Ready to check out the rest of the A-Z STEM series? It’s a huge resource for STEM activities – you don’t want to miss it!