Teaching kids about the night sky and constellations can be tricky if you can’t take them out to see it for themselves. Below are plenty of constellation activities for kids and a closer look at these AWESOME Constellation Cards by Roylco that you can use with your light table or light pad!
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The constellation cards made by Roylco come with 54 cards and are two-sided and tear resistant so you don’t need to try and laminate them! Each card comes with perforated spots so you’ll to poke out the holes the first time you use the cards. It causes a bit of a mess but just a heads up if you expect to open the packaging and use it right away!
The REALLY cool thing that makes these constellation cards special is that they are specifically designed to be used on your light table! One side of the cards is black with holes where the constellation stars would be, and the other side of the cards has an outline of the animal, person or object associated with that constellation. When you place it on the light table the object shines super imposed over the “stars”! Check it out:
Personally I use a light pad for cheap light table play because they run about $25 which makes it affordable enough to buy several for a classroom and set up multiple groups at once. As you can see in the video above the light pad is extremely slim which makes it great for storage. I can easily put 4 constellation cards on one light pad.
Although there is a quick guide constellation poster included I do really wish that each card had the constellation name written on it for better learning capabilities. But the cards themselves are fantastic and there are ways you can add the names to the cards if you really wanted to.
Teaching kids about constellations can be hard, especially if you are trying to teach them many constellations over a period of time instead of just the few popular constellations like the Big Dipper, Little Dipper, and Orion. These Constellation Cards allow you to essentially bring your night sky into the classroom via your light table and gives kids a better visual of what they are learning.
Especially since you can’t typically take your classroom outdoors to look at the constellations! I found it even hard to teach my younger kids about constellations outdoors because they were always so tired by the time night time came until they got older!
This lion constellation is called Leo, popular because it’s a zodiac symbol. An easily recognized constellation, it’s best seen in the sky (in the Northern Hemisphere) in the spring.
This peacock constellation is called Pavo, Latin for peacock. This constellation is a fun one to learn about as it has tie back to Greek mythology.
Here is an up-close view of the back of the Pavo constellation card (the peacock constellation) on the light table. You can very clearly see the constellation formation with a faint view of the animal shining through. Without the light table on, however, you simply see the constellation outline.
This ram is another zodiac constellation called Aries. It’s Latin name, Aries, means ram.
I find that many of the people constellations are harder to spot in the sky and are typically lesser known, although this one is one of the most popular. This man pouring water is Aquarius, a water carrier, also tying back to Greek mythology.
Our constellations have many ancient roots where we can learn about ancient cultures as well as our solar system today.
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How many constellations are there in the sky?
Astronomers recognize 88 constellations in our night sky! Although there are only 54 cards in the Constellation Cards set and they will keep you busy learning about constellations for a LONG time!
How to Study the Constellations:
If you’re teaching kids about constellations the best way is to go slow and in depth! Tossing a pile of constellation cards at them and asking them to learn it might prevent them from retaining much of the information you want them to learn!
To maximize their learning efforts and to naturally increase their desire to learn more about the night sky I recommend starting your constellation journey with the Constellation Cards and choosing one card per week of the year to learn about! Every week is a new card! You’ll of course have two weeks worth left over so you can choose to double up or just run your lessons for 54 weeks.
Every week research the name and origin of each constellation, what types of solar bodies the constellations are made of (stars, planets, etc.), and of course the object that the constellation represents.
You can then choose to do further activities based on your weekly constellation project depending on the time you have! Below are some constellation activities for kids along with more space themed activities!
Constellation Activities for Kids:
DIY Constellation Magnets
Constellation Rocks & Sidewalk Chalk Art
DIY Constellation Projector
Constellation Sewing Cards
Printable Constellation Luminary
Printable Dot to Dot Constellations
Pipe Cleaner Constellations
Other Space Related Activities for Kids: