Now that the days are shorter, my early-to-bed kids are able to see the night sky more often. The moon and the stars have always been a source of beauty and excitement for Yummy.  She never gets tired of racing to the window to wish on stars or to see the moon, whether it is night or day.  With this month's full moon happening this Sunday, I decided that now would be a great time to start a themed unit for the kids to explore the wonder of the night sky.  You can check out your local moon phases at almanac.com

This is the first post in my series of three: here are Part Two (Art Appreciation & Painting with Van Gogh) and Part Three (Full Moon Artwork, FREE Counting Stars printable, & Galaxy PlayDough)

This is a three-part series that I will be publishing this week.  I hope you enjoy exploring the night sky as much as we have!

Night Sky Sensory Bin

To start our Night Sky theme, I created Night Sensory Bins for Yummy and Dooter.  After Quiet Time, I closed the curtains and door in our spare room, and with a tablecloth on the floor in the dark room, the two explored their glowing bins with sheer joy.  The glowing stars didn't hold a glow very long, so instead of turning on the room light, we found a flashlight to "charge"their glow again.  
For these sensory bins, I used:
  • rice, coloured with black liquid tempera paint (I just squeezed a few globs into the rice, then mixed it around until it was all covered, then laid it on cookie sheets to dry for a few days.  I really did use paint that was labelled black, but it turned out dark blue -very weird!  I actually prefer the dark blue in the end, so that is fine!!)
  • glowing stars (from a toy store; I've heard you can get them at Dollar stores, but haven't been so fortunate)
  • glowing rocks (from a special friend!)
  • clear plastic diamonds (Dollarama)
  • glow sticks
  • LED tealight candles

Glow in the dark things are always awesome, especially to kids.  Every single time I've given my kids a glow stick, they are super excited!  They also enjoyed looking through the bins in the light, however.

Black Paper & Chalk

Using the simple cardboard easels I posted about on my facebook page, I set up an invitation to create with black paper and white chalk.  A lot of the art in our house becomes collaborative -both Mr. Man and I add doodles to the kids papers (mostly sunshines, since hearing Dooter say 'sunshine' is the cutest thing ever!) and Yummy always likes to 'help' Dooter, often without his consent. 
The idea was to draw stars in a black sky, but mostly it was a great opportunity to learn about contrast. White and black create bold colour contrast.

Keeping A Moon Journal

I discoveredthis simple moon journal from the National Wildlife Federation, free for downloading.  Yummy has been filling it in, not exactly accurately, but enjoying her observations all the same.   

My next Night Sky posts will involve some Van Gogh inspired painting (really, how can you not involve the guy when you are learning about night skies and art??), testing out some Galaxy Play-dough, a Star Counting printable, and some full-moon artwork.

Related Reading

Yummy and I have been enjoying the following books about the moon.  These are affiliate links along with my own comments -thanks for your support!

This activity uses this Principle of Design in Visual Art:
  1. Contrast: viewing the difference in opposing colours


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Little Bins for Little Hands
8/28/2017 03:09:24 am

I am eagerly waiting for next sky post.

11/12/2017 09:12:12 pm

I am so happy to see that your kids are having fun with you while you were busy doing your artwork. It's ideal for parents to let their children join them whenever they are doing something, especially if it will help these kids improve their creativity! Science-related art would always be exceptional no matter what. Your representation about a happy night full of stars is just beautiful! Obviously, Vincent Van Gogh is one of your inspirations!


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