Here's a simple way to explore the solar eclipse with young children. These models of the sun, moon & earth are quick & easy to create & can be hung up & displayed anywhere.
To make them we used just three different items:
plastic ball pit balls
a glue stick
coloured tissue paper.
We started by making the sun & ripped up small sections of yellow tissue paper. Then we covered one of the ball pit balls with glue & added the tissue paper until the ball was completely covered.
To create the earth we again covered a ball with glue & this time used small sections of blue tissue paper. To add the land we used green tissue which we stuck over the blue.
Finally to create the moon we chose a darker ball & added sections of cream coloured tissue paper. Alternatively you could use silver/white tissue, or paint over the top.
Our planet (earth), satellite (moon), & star (sun) were ready to be explored immediately. Obviously these are not to scale, but provided simple illustrations to explore the eclipse.
To suspend them we taped a length of thread to each ball & attached to a shelf with sticky-tack.
To demonstrate the solar eclipse we moved the moon slowly in front of the sun, showing how it would block the sun's light from the earth & cast a shadow. Although the sun is 400 times larger then the moon, it's 400 times further away from the earth so the moon obscures the sunlight.
If you're looking for advice on how to view the solar eclipse safely check out BBC iwonder for more information.
For more space themed activities you might like our: