Space exploration, planets, astronauts, stars, moons, are all VERY interesting and seem to capture the imagination of many children. So why not help peak that interest and curiosity through different lessons, books and projects. Children as young as two are capable of understanding and absorbing more than we give them credit for. The moon phases lesson helps them understand that the moon orbits around the Earth. It can also help them problem solve and observe how light can be blocked by an object.
Phases of the moon:
Modeling out the moon phases using a polystyrene moon on a stick (the moon) and a flashlight.
To do this activity you should stand in a dark room and a child hold the “moon” straight in front of them. Have another child stand at one end of the room holding the flashlight and shining it toward the child holding the moon (this is the sun). Have the child holding the moon spin slowly as they observe the changes in the moon’s appearance. They will be able to see that their head (the Earth) casts a shadow on the moon depending on where it is in relation to the flashlight.
If you are interested in seeing this being demonstrated you can go to this video
Phases of the moon printable:
- 3 part Montessori Moon Phase Cards : FREE Printable
- Moon phases slider : Free Printable
What does the surface of the moon look like?
Before starting on the traditional Montessori lesson (phases of the moon) you can read a book, look at pictures and learn about what the surface of the moon looks like. You can then explain to them what a crater is.
Crater: An impact crater is a depression in the surface of a planet, moon, or other solid body in the Solar System, formed by the hypervelocity impact of a smaller body or astroid
- Puffy Paint Moon – (drop balls or marbles to create craters)
- 1/4 cup white glue (ANY BRAND)
- 1/4 cup shaving cream (APPROXIMATELY)
- food coloring
- Georgia O’ Keif the moon painting- Georgia O’Keeffe Ladder
Collage: Rocket ship using geometric shapes. (triangles, circles, rectangles, squares) Then you can have your child tell you a story about the rocket ship and write it down for them. Where is it going? Who is traveling in the rocket ship?
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