• Made by Molly G.

Sundial and Moon Phases


In our out-of-this-world science activity, perfect for school-age kids, we will learn about day and night! We are going to talk about how people used to tell time using the sun, and make a tool to tell time that way ourselves! Then, we are going to talk about nighttime and how the moon doesn’t always look like a circle. We are going to create a slide that will help us to show all of the different shapes that the moon has in the sky.


Supplies:

  • Orange, Yellow, Black, and Blue paper

  • Tape

  • Scissors

  • Pencil

  • Black Marker

  • Tin Foil

  • Plate















Activity Steps:

Walk the participant through your activity!

This should include things to prepare prior to activity, any tips for activity or reminders and be sure to make them developmentally appropriate; reminder no bullets or numbers!


Before we get started, make sure you have a clear, clean, and flat work space! Also be sure to get a caregiver’s permission to use scissors and tin foil - ask for help when using these supplies if you need to!


Sun


Learning about the Sun!




How much do you know about the sun? Take a moment to think of as many facts as you can about the sun. With each fact that you can think of, hold up a finger. They can be as complicated or as simple of facts as you’d like. Ready? Ok - GO!


How many did you think of?

Here are some of the facts that I thought of:

  • The sun is the center of our solar system.

  • The sun is really, really, really hot! It is a ball made up of gases that is about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. On Earth, a 90 degree Fehrenheit day feels really hot to us.

  • The sun is a really big star.


Did you think of any of these facts? What others did you come up with?

Did you know that the Earth rotates, or orbits, around the sun. That means that the Earth spins itself, while also moving around in a bigger circle around the sun. Every time the Earth completes one of its full spins, a day has passed. When the Earth has made it all the way around its big circle around the sun, a year has passed.


Since the Earth is spinning, there are times when the place you are on the Earth will be facing the sun and times when you are not. When you are facing the sun, it is daytime. When you are not, it is nighttime. Have you ever noticed that throughout the day, it seems like the sun is moving across the sky? It is in a different place at sunrise compared to at lunch time and at sunset. That is because the Earth is spinning. This is how people used to tell time, before they had clocks like how we do today.


The types of clocks they had were called sundials. Where the shadows made by the sun fell on the sundial helped the people tell the time. We are going to make our own sundials today!


DIY Sundial Craft


Step 1: To begin, we need to trace a circle on our yellow sheet of construction paper, using our plate. So, grab your plate, paper, and pencil. Turn your plate upside down on your paper and trace around the edge, so that you have a circle on the page.


When you have that, go ahead and cut it out. This is going to be the middle of our sun-shaped sundial.


Step 2: Up next is the rays of our sun! Grab your orange sheet of construction paper. We are going to cut this sheet in half long-ways, so that we have two thin, tall rectangles. Now, cut one of those rectangles in half again to create two smaller thin, tall rectangles.

Step 3: Now, grab one of those smaller rectangles we just cut and cut it in half to make two shorter rectangles.

Then cut each of those in half to make even short rectangles. They should look close to squares.

Do the same with the other long rectangle from before. When you are done, you should have 8 small rectangles.



Step 4: We are going to turn these rectangles into triangles. To do that, we will cut each in half diagonally. That means we will cut them in a straight line from the bottom left corner through the top right corner. Do this to each rectangle, so that you have 16 triangles.


Step 5: Our sun needs its rays! So, we will need to tape the triangles around the edge of the circle we cut out before. The number of triangles you will be able to fit will depend on how big of a plate you used to make your circle. But lay each triangle down on the circle with a tip point away from the center and tape it to the circle. Repeat until you have triangles around the entire edge of your circle so that it looks like a sun with bright glowing rays.


Step 6: Next, flip over your sun. We need to add the numbers to the sundial so we can use it to tell time. To do this, we are going to draw a clock on the outside edge of the sundial. To start, grab your marker! Place a piece of paper in the middle of your circle to split it in half going up and down the middle of your sun. Use that to draw an imaginary line in your head going up and down the middle of your sun. At the top of that line, near the edge of the yellow circle, write the number 12. At the bottom of that line, near the edge of the yellow circle, write the number 6.


Step 7: We are going to draw another imaginary line, but this time it will be going side to side across the middle of the sun. Place a piece of paper in the middle of your circle to split it in half going side to side. On the right side, at the end of the line, near the edge of the yellow circle, write the number 3. On the left side, at the end of the line, near the edge of the yellow circle, write the number 9.


Step 8: Now, we need to fill in the rest of the numbers on our sundials! We are going to start between 12 and 3! In between those two numbers, again near the edge of the yellow circle, you are going to write the number 1 and then further down the number 2. Try to have them be spaced evenly between 12 and 3.


Step 9: Next, we need to fill in between 3 and 6! In between those two numbers, again near the edge of the yellow circle, you are going to write the number 4 and then further down the number 5. Try to have them be spaced evenly between 3 and 6.



Step 10: Next, we need to fill in between 6 and 9! In between those two numbers, again near the edge of the yellow circle, you are going to write the number 7 (closer to the number 6) and then further up the number 8. Try to have them be spaced evenly between 6 and 9.


Step 11: Finally, we need to fill in between 9 and 12! In between those two numbers, again near the edge of the yellow circle, you are going to write the number 10 and then further up the number 11. Try to have them be spaced evenly between 9 and 12.

Step 12: It is time to decorate now! We are going to add a face to the middle of the sundial! Feel free to draw whatever kind of face you want. Your face can be happy, silly, excited, shy, calm - up to you!




Step 13: Lastly, we need to attach our straw which will help us tell the time. So, grab your plastic straw and your tape. We are going to place the straw standing straight up and down in the middle of the sun. Using the tape, attach a piece to the straw, near the bottom, that will curve and then attach to the sun. Do this a few times, so that there is tape all around the straw and it stands by itself.


Now that your sundial is done, you can bring it outside and put it in the sun. Ask for a caregiver’s help to have the number 12 pointing towards north. The shadow of the straw on the page should help you see what time it is!




Moon
















Learning about the Moon!

How much do you know about the moon? Take a moment to think of as many facts as you can about the moon. With each fact that you can think of, hold up a finger. They can be as complicated or as simple of facts as you’d like. Ready? Ok - GO!


How many did you think of?

Here are some of the facts that I thought of:

  • The moon is smaller than the Earth.

  • The first person to set foot on the moon was Neil Armstrong.

  • Gravity on Earth is much stronger than the gravity on the moon.


Did you think of any of these facts? What others did you come up with?

Have you ever noticed that the moon doesn’t always look the same way in the sky? Sometimes it looks like a circle, other times it looks like a crescent, other times… you can barely see it at all! We call this the phases of the moon or lunar phases. Lunar is a fancy word used to refer to the moon. Do you know why the moon seems to change shape? Remember how the Earth spins and the sun hits different parts of it throughout the day? Well, as the moon spins around the Earth, different parts of it face the sun and get lit up, which is why we can’t always see all of it. The moon goes through all of its phases about every month. There are two special words used to describe the two halves of the phases. The first half are the waxing phases. This means that the amount of the moon we see is increasing. The second half is when the moon is waning, or decreasing in how much we can see.


Let’s make a lunar phases slider craft to learn more about the phases of the moon!


Lunar Phases Slider Craft


Step 1: To begin, let’s grab our blue construction paper and fold it in half so that the two short sides meet. Next you are going to unfold the paper so that you can see a line down the middle from the fold you just made. Cut along that line.


Step 2: Now, take one of those new rectangles and fold it in half so that the new short sides meet. Next you are going to unfold the paper so that you can see a line down the middle from the fold you just made. Now cut along that line.


Step 3: In the middle of one of the rectangles you just cut out, using your pencil, trace around your cup.


You will then cut this circle out. To do this, fold the rectangle in half without creasing it and make a cut in the middle of the circle.

Unfold it and insert your scissors in that slit and then cut along the line to cut out the circle.


Step 4: Take the other rectangle you cut out and trace it on the foil. Cut out the foil rectangle slightly smaller than the rectangle you traced. You can do this by cutting on the inside of the lines that you drew. Be sure to ask for a caregiver’s help with this step if you need it, as sometimes the edges of foil may cut your fingers.


Step 5: Next, using your tape, attach the foil rectangle to the rectangle without the circle cut-out. You can attach a piece of tape along each side.


Step 6: Now place the rectangle with the circle cut out on top of the foil rectangle, so that you can see the foil through circle cut-out. Tape the two rectangles together at the top and the bottom, on the short ends, so that the tape is on the outside. This will mean you put the tape on the outside of one of the rectangles and then fold it over to attach to the back of the other. When you are done, the two sides should still be open. You can set that aside.


Step 7: For our next step, we will need the black piece of paper. Fold this paper so that two short sides are touching each other. Cut along that line. Set aside one of these rectangles.


Step 8: Next we need to make the short edges of this new rectangle rounded. To do this, cut the corners of the rectangle to be curved. This should make the short edges of the rectangle appear as half circles.


Step 9: To make this a slider, we will place the curved-edge rectangle we just cut inside the center of the blue rectangles. Slide the black paper through the open edges of the blue papers.


Step 10: Finally, we can decorate the rectangle with the circle cut out! To do this, grab the scraps of the yellow paper from earlier, or markers and add stars! If you are using the yellow paper, draw stars on the paper and then cut them out.


You can tape the cut-outs on the blue rectangle. If you want to use your marker, you can just draw the stars directly on the rectangle.


How-to use the slider


To use the slider, you can put the black paper back and forth to get different shapes of the moon. When the moon is getting big, remember, it is waxing. When it is getting smaller, it is waning.



Can you make all of the phases in this image using your slider?




Conclusion:


Did you learn something new today? Be sure to go tell your friends and family everything that you learned and teach them using your new sundial and lunar phases slider! Remember to test out the sundial outside on the next nice day! In the evening. look up and try to find the moon and try to make its shape on your lunar phases slider!


Don’t forget to check out other Get Your Play Online activities in the future too!


~ Made by Molly G.




















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