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How To Get Kids Involved In The Upcoming Solar Eclipse

solar eclipse

The upcoming total solar eclipse is a rare event that won’t happen in the contiguous United States for another two decades, which makes it a special event to enjoy with your kids. So we’ve gathered a few ideas that will not only help them understand how eclipses work but will also help make lasting memories.

NASA created a fun video that explains how a solar eclipse happens in simple terms. But you can summarize by telling your little ones that eclipses take place when the Moon passes between the sun and Earth at the perfect time. To better help them understand just how perfect the timing is, you can tell them that they will be adults before it happens again.

Once the kids are excited about the cool cosmic experience, there are a few ways you can make it even more fun and exciting with hands-on projects like pinhole projectors and sun prints.

Help Your Kids Create These Solar Eclipse Projects

Some parents may remember creating pinhole projectors when they were kids. The cardboard contraption allows you to watch the solar eclipse without looking directly at the sun, and they can be used in place of approved eyewear. Just be sure to fully explain to kids that they cannot look at the eclipse without the projector—doing so can cause permanent eye damage.

It’s easy to make a pinhole projector at home, and you probably already have the supplies, which include a cardboard box, scissors, aluminum foil, tape, and a pin. Check out the video below to see a step-by-step tutorial.

Sun prints are another fun solar eclipse craft that will bring your children into the solar eclipse excitement. These cool pieces of art are actually “drawn” by the sun’s powerful rays. To make them, you and your kids will set pieces of paper covered in plastic or cardboard shapes outside during the event. The sun will bleach the uncovered portions of the paper and leave the covered portions darker.

You can learn more about the solar eclipse and how to watch it here. If you’re not living in the path of totality, you’ll still be able to enjoy a partial eclipse, and the above projects will work just the same!

This story’s featured image is by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images.

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