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Got your head in the clouds? Perfect! These astronomy-themed activities are designed to inspire stargazers-in-training ages 4-8.

Home to one of the largest all-digital planetarium domes on the planet, the Academy is as fascinated by heavenly happenings as Earthly ones. Get ready to space out with a constellation of videos, crafts, and astronomy resources.

Please note: While Science @ Home activities are designed to be conducted by kids, some little ones might need adult help with reading instructions and preparing crafts.

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Bright sun in the sky with a few wispy clouds

Day 1: Sun

Kick off the week with a celebration of the star of our solar system and a hands-on investigation of the science of shadows. (30-60 minutes)

Sun and shadows (video)
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Academy educator Ethan sheds some light on how the Sun’s path across the sky changes how your shadow appears.

While you watch this video, think about the two questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.

  • Where have you seen shadows before?
  • How do shadows change over a day? When do they get bigger or smaller?

Listen to guiding questions 

Sun tracker (activity)
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Transform your body into a sundial and see how your shadows illustrate the movement of the Sun over the course of a day.

Listen to instructions

Sun art (craft)
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Don’t have a camera? Oh, yes you do: It’s in the sky above you! Use everyday objects and the power of the Sun to create your own solar masterpieces.

Listen to instructions

Moon

Day 2: Moon

The Moon rocks! Embark on an out-of-this-world journey to learn the secrets of Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor. (60-90 minutes)

Moon explorers (video)
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Blast off to the moon with Academy educator Mary and gain a new appreciation for our nearest celestial neighbor.

While watching this video, think about the two questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.

  • Have you seen the Moon in the sky before? What did it look like?
  • Would you like to visit the Moon one day? What would it be like?

Listen to guiding questions

Eat the Moon (activity)
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Is all this lunar exploration making you hungry? Head to the kitchen to fix yourself a tasty snack that mimics the Moon’s appearance.

Listen to instructions

Phases of the Moon chart (craft)
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Make your own moon chart to track its phases in the night sky—and learn about funny moon-related phrases like “waxing gibbous!”

Listen to instructions

Big Dipper outlined in night sky

Day 3: Stars

More than just pretty points of light in the sky, stars are windows into other worlds—and help us find our place in the Universe. (45-60 minutes)

Shapes in the sky (video)
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When the Sun goes down, the stars come out, and the light show begins! Use your imagination to see shapes—or constellations—formed by stars in the night sky.

While you watch this video, think about the three questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.

  • What do you notice as the Sun sets? What happens to the sky?
  • Have you ever seen stars in the night sky? Does the sky in the video look different? Why might that be?
  • What have you seen in the sky besides stars?

Listen to guiding questions

Create your own star pattern #1 (activity)
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Connect the dots to create your own colorful constellation on paper.

Listen to instructions

Create your own star pattern #2 (activity)
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Design another constellation, but this time, invent a story, fable, or myth to explain the story behind the stars.

Listen to instructions

Paper cup planetarium (craft)
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The Academy’s planetarium may be closed, but you can still see stars! Project an assortment of mini-constellations onto your wall at home.

Listen to instructions

Silhouetted person looking up at dazzling night sky with stars

Day 4: Observe the sky

It’s time to put what you’ve learned about our sky to the test by building your own binoculars and heading out into the wild dark yonder! (30-60 minutes)

Cardboard tube binoculars (craft)
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Binoculars help our eyes focus on objects near and far. Customize your own beautiful pair of ‘nocs and start making some scientific observations.

Listen to instructions

Skywatching (activity)
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Field trip! Get an adult to tag along with you on your very own after-dark astronomical observation mission. Don’t forget your new binoculars!

Listen to instructions

Telescope, moon, and dipper (coloring)
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Get creative and color in your own nocturnal skywatching scene.

Sun and Moon dance (activity)
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Match the movements of the Sun, Moon, and Earth by moving your body! Ask some superstar friends and family to join in the fun.

Listen to instructions

Woman and toddler do an activity

Kid & caregiver extension activities

Star light, star bright, wishing for more sky-related content tonight? See below to continue your astronomy adventure.

Skywatcher’s Guide

Our planetarium team puts together this incredibly informative field guide to the stars every three months. Don’t leave home without it!

Virtual planetarium events

Our planetarium presenters host livestream events on Facebook several times a week to bring the Universe to you!

About asterisms

Asterisms are shapes or patterns of stars in the sky. Discover their ancient history in this PDF.

Figures in the sky 

This interactive website lets you see constellations from the perspective of a variety of diverse cultures from around the world.

Stellarium

Stellarium is an online star map that offers a state-of-the-art virtual view of the night sky in your area, including billions of stars and constellations.

Academy @ Home

Enjoy an eclectic array of science content for all ages, from distance learning resources to in-depth livestreams.

Tell us what you think!
Science @ Home is always evolving. Drop us a line to let us know what you like, what you don't, and what you'd like to see more (or less!) of. Completed a craft that you're proud of? Send us a pic of that, too!