Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Light Table Constellation Activity for Kids

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Do I have hyperlexia? Is my child hyperlexic? Take the free online hyperlexia quiz today!

Are your kids interested in learning about constellations? Then try this simple constellation activity for the light table! Great for toddlers and preschool kids too!

While checking out Dollar Tree last week, I came across some plastic translucent jewelry links for kids. As soon as I saw them, I  knew that they would be perfect for light table activities

And I was right. They do look fantastic on our DIY light table (as I knew they would).

Anyway, the set included stars, hearts, and flowers in three colors: pink, yellow, and purple. But it was the stars that we ended up using for this light table constellation activity for kids. We've since used the rest of the shapes for other activities like this threading hearts activity and this spring mirror drawing activity.

Light table constellation activity for kids

What You'll Need for this Constellation Activity for the Light Table

This constellations teaching idea is really simple and will even let kids design their own constellation art on the light table. Here's what you'll need:

  • Navy or black tissue paper (optional, but will make your light table look more like the night sky) - Just tape it to the light table
To set up this activity, I first taped some navy blue tissue paper to the top of the light table. I wanted to use black tissue paper, but couldn't find any. Regardless, the blue worked well to create a perfect evening sky for the stars to shine. This step is optional.

I placed a basket of stars and the constellation cards on the light table as well. Unfortunately, every time I tried to print the constellation cards, it would only print the first two pages and I'm not sure why. So we made due with only the two constellations that would print off.

Now that everything's set up, it's time to learn about a few popular constellations and maybe make a few different constellations too.

Learning about constellations on the light table

This Fun Light Table Science Activity is Great for Toddlers & Preschoolers!

My oldest son J started off the activity by placing the stars on top of the constellation cards. Basically, he was using the printable cards as constellation templates.

Making constellations on the light table

Child learning about constellations on the light table

Afterwards, he started coming up with multiple constellations of his own and even gave them some names. Here he is making the "U" constellation. Not surprising that a hyperlexic kid would make a letter inspired constellation, right? Yeah definitely not unexpected...I mean letters do lend themselves to become beautiful constellation art anyway.

Child doing a constellation activity on the light table with translucent stars

A bunch of translucent stars on a light table

While most constellation activities for kids focus on recreating a real constellation or two, like this one did at first, I really liked that this activity was more open ended. It really allowed my son to get creative! Speaking of which, here is another constellation that he created. I wonder what this one will be called...

Child arranging stars on a light table as part of a constellation activity

Well, he called this constellation "Buttons." Why? Well, if you - as the constellation viewer - tilt your head to the side, then you will notice that it is a 3 x 4 grid just like the buttons on a telephone. Again, his hyperlexia and hypernumeracy are shining through here...

Close up of translucent stars on a light table

My son J really enjoyed this constellation activity. It was a great way to introduce constellations to him.

Other Space Themed Activities for Kids You'll Love

Kids of all ages will love learning about constellations with this light table constellation activity