Introducing the constellations and stars to kids is easy with this simple science activity for preschoolers! For this activity, you just need sticks, stones, and paper to get started. Ready to head into space? Here we go!
My boys are so fascinated by everything in outer space. The mystery of the stars, planets, moon, and sun captivate them and they drawn to learning alllll about this topic. They have a million and one questions about the night sky: “How many constellations are there?” “Why can I see stars only at night?” How do stars shine?” I could go on and on! So. Many. Questions.
In fact, they have been interested in the topic for years! We did a variation of this activity a couple of years ago with natural loose parts, but now they are older and ready for the next step.
Ready to make a few constellations?! Here’s what you’ need:
- Stones- You can get creative with this! Try acorns in the fall or flowers in the spring and summer.
- Star stickers (optional)
- Roll of paper
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Here’s What We Did:
Google different types of constellations and choose a few that you feel confident you can replicate. Trust me, there are some complicated constellations that I didn’t want to try recreating on paper;)
Now cut your sticks and put stars on your stones. You don’t NEED the stars on the stones, but they add a nice touch! I cut my sticks into three different sizes: 6 inch, 3 inch, and 1.5 inch pieces. You will notice that constellations are all different shapes and sizes, so this was the easiest way to show the variation in the constellation lines.
Map out your constellations on the paper. Make sure they fit nicely and aren’t touching each other.
Lift up the stones and draw stars underneath them.
Lift up the sticks and draw lines underneath them. I used the ruler to help me measure out my different lengths for the stick pieces. Make sure you leave enough room so the stones won’t overlap.
Label the constellations.
Now you are all set! At this point, I explained the activity to my son. I showed him how to match up the correct size stick to the lines and place the stones on the stars. He was ready to go!
The hands-on aspect of this activity was really valuable. A couple of times, Leo matched up the wrong stick and he noticed right away that he was wrong. He said, “Uh oh, that’s too short.” He might not remember the exact lines of Sagitta, but this will help drive home the fact that the stars in constellations are separated by different amounts of space.
This looks so beautiful when complete!
Leo wants to make more constellations, so I’d say this activity was a hit!
Pin this activity to save it for later!
I hope you give this activity a try! I promise, your little nature lovers will love it as much as my boys.