This solar eclipse craft for kids is fun and easy! Plus, we now have updated info to help you relate this craft to the October 2023 annular eclipse and the April 2024 total eclipse.
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We’re tuned in to all things Space here in Houston. My husband read about the total solar eclipse coming up on August 21st, and the kids were so interested that he started researching travel up to the part of the US that’ll be in total eclipse. I wasn’t all that surprised when it turned out to be too expensive for our family of 5, but it was fun to dream!
We’ll have to settle for a partial eclipse here, and hope for clear skies. Meanwhile, we’re getting ready with this easy solar eclipse craft for kids. I got the idea from a Northern Lights art project my kids did recently. I searched for a source for it, but all I could find were these similarly awesome Christmas light art – which we’ll definitely be trying later this year.
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Solar Eclipse Background
My kids ask so many science questions that I can’t answer. I have to admit, I was a little fuzzy on exactly what the position of the earth, sun and moon are during a solar eclipse. I knew that it was the moon blocking the sun, but didn’t understand all the moving parts or why you can only see it in such a narrow band across the Earth.
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I did a little searching on YouTube, and liked this video the best. It’s detailed enough to answer all my kids’ questions, but not so technical that it’s above their heads (okay, or mine!)
If you keep watching to the end, they do also cover annular eclipses – yay!
Solar Eclipse Craft Materials
Sophie made her solar eclipse craft with no problem. Isabella, on the other hand, had trouble with her template slipping. So for her, we used re-stickable clear contact paper, and it worked beautifully. I’d definitely recommend that for younger kids. (Both links below are affiliate links for your convenience.)
- Chalk – we used white and blue
- Construction paper – dark blue or black, plus a scrap for the moon
- Masking tape OR re-stickable contact paper
- Metallic gel pen (optional)
Solar Eclipse Craft Instructions
- Cut out a circle for each child from the scrap paper or contact paper.
- Tape or stick the circle to the center of the construction paper.
- Trace around the circle template with a thin line of chalk.
- Color heavily with chalk on the edges of the circle template.
- Use a finger to spread the chalk out from the template onto the background paper.
- Make sure all the excess chalk is spread out or shaken off, and then remove the circle template to reveal the clear space behind it. Label with the metallic gel pen if you like.
Update: Annular Eclipse Craft Instructions
It’s really easy to turn this into an annular eclipse craft! Just make the chalk a little heavier around the circle template. That will create a “ring of fire”.
More Eclipse Fun
The last time we had a total eclipse was in 2017 (can you believe it’s been that long!) and I fell in love with these cute t-shirts shown on the left below. Well, I just checked, and I’m excited to share that there’s an updated shirt for 2024 – hooray! (affiliate)
Pin the craft for later:
Related articles across the web:
NASA has some helpful information on viewing the 2023 annular eclipse, including eye safety, the eclipse path, and more. They also have a page on the 2024 total eclipse which is full of details.
I also really like this simple 2024 eclipse overview from the Exploratorium science museum.