Moon Phase Painting

We’re only a day away from the first NEW MOON of 2021 - which explains why it’s been hard to spot our best-known natural satellite for a day or so.

This offers the perfect opportunity to observe the phases taking us all the way to a full moon at the end of the month (28th January). Get the kids to pop outdoors before breakfast or after dark, and see if they can spot the first sliver of a waxing crescent and the end of this week, and then follow the progress as this slice appears to swell past the first quarter and to the fabulously named ‘waxing gibbous’ days before the wolves start to howl.

Do your children have a parent or grandparent who can remember the first moon landing in 1969? What a great subject for discussion - maybe an older child could conduct an interview? Can everyone in the family contribute a question? What would you want to ask?

We watched a clip from that momentous occasion (via BBC Bitesize), read up on how craters are formed and then pretended to be astronauts in space suits and no atmosphere to make the 4 year old fall over laughing. We also created these lovely watercolour resist moon phase pictures inspired by @magichomeschoolbus

How to make:

We cut 8 pieces of watercolour paper into equal rectangles, one for each phase.

Next we draw around a mug to create an equally sized circle on each piece of paper.

Then we labelled each of the phases, and coloured in the corresponding section of the moon in white wax crayon.

Finally, we painted blue watercolour paint (mixed with water) over the drawing.

The wax crayon resisted the paint - ‘magically’ revealing the shape of the moon beneath.

Why not make a bit of moon-study part of your weekly learning? I know those following the @exploringnaturewithchildren curriculum will have been doing so - has any one else given these watercolour moon phases a try?