Space is an intriguing and fascinating subject for kids. Encourage young children to explore the mysteries and wonders of star systems and the universe with simple, fun and educational constellation art and craft projects.
Sparkle art constellation map
Children can recreate their favourite constellation in a beautiful work of art. Provide kids with a sheet of black construction paper, a picture of their chosen constellation for reference, school glue and silver glitter shakers. Instruct children to place dots of glue on the construction paper, positioning dots to reflect the stars' positions in the constellation picture as closely as possible. Have kids sprinkle glitter over the glue dots and then gently tap the paper to remove loose glitter. Lay the paper flat and let it dry completely. Choose simpler constellation pictures for younger children and more complex pictures for older kids and adolescents.
Light-up constellation map
Crayola provides free instructions for kids on how to create an accurate constellation map to place over a torch for an indoor stargazing activity. For a simplified alternative, provide kids with a cardboard roll, paper plate or sheet of aluminium foil. Assist children in poking holes through the material with a pair of safety scissors or a hole punch. The holes should be made to resemble a specific constellation. Kids can then turn off the lights and shine a torch through their projects -- the light will shine through the holes and project the constellation on to a forward facing wall. Or, provide kids with a bright sheet of construction paper to glue inside the roll or behind the plate or foil. Their constellation will now appear in a series of coloured dots where the holes are.
Connect the dots
Kids can easily create and complete their own homemade "connect the dots" activity sheets using the Zodiac constellations. Provide them with a simple print-out of the Zodiac constellations, and have them trace or draw the star points as dots on a sheet of paper, numbering the dots as they go along. Kids can then swap papers and complete one another's activity sheet by connecting the dots using coloured pencils or markers. Have kids decorate their activity sheets with the constellation name and months of visibility. Older children can also include Zodiac "fun facts" on their activity sheets.
Design a constellation
Pre-school children may enjoy designing their own constellations with dark construction paper, chalk and star-shaped stickers. Because it will be difficult for young children to reproduce constellation charts, encourage them to create their own out of any picture or shape they like using the piece of chalk. Once the picture is drawn, kids can then place the stickers in whatever positions along the chalk lines that they would like their stars to be.
Older children and teenagers may enjoy decorating their bedroom ceiling to reflect the constellation associated with their Zodiac sign. This fun and personalised craft project can be done by painting the constellation on the ceiling in glow-in-the-dark paint, which will only be visible when the lights are out. Use washable paint for a temporary effect, and provide kids with plastic glow-in-the-dark stars to complete their ceiling constellation.