Summer Reading Club Activities: Chalk Constellations and Puffy Paint

The theme for Summer Reading Club this week is the sun, moon, and stars. Our weekend activities feature the moon and stars in all their artsy, creative glory.

Activity 1: Chalk Constellations

Our first activity is about the stars. You can learn about the constellations by drawing their pictures! All the constellations also have different names and stories. Which one is your favourite?

Here’s what you’ll need:

Option 1: Black or dark blue paper, cut-out paper stars or star stickers, white or yellow chalk
Option 2: Chalk, cut-out paper stars

For Option 1:

Place the star stickers on the paper. Then have them connect each star with a line of chalk. Try doing some random patterns and some patterns in the shape of actual constellations! 

We did Cygnus and Ursa Major by following the constellation patterns below.

For Option 2:

Cut out some stars from yellow or white pieces of paper. (If you’re not very artsy, you can download our star sheet here, print it off, colour them, and cut them out. No drawing required!) Then, take them and your chalk to some open pavement. Lay the stars out on the pavement in the order of different constellations and draw connecting lines. You can make really big constellations this way! 

This is a great time to teach your child about stars and constellations. This includes history and star composition (if you’d like to use different coloured chalk). Many of the constellations have really cool stories and pictures that go with them, like Draco, Aquila, and Cassiopeia.

Because both of these activities use stars, try making these constellations:

See here for constellation patterns:

Weekend Kids Activity: Puffy Paint Moon

Our second activity is about the moon. Start by painting the moon, then just have some fun with it! (Seriously, lots of fun.) What else do you want to make puffy?

Materials:

  • Strong construction paper (card stock works great!)
  • Marker or crayon to draw your circle
  • Scissors
  • Mixing bowl
  • White glue (approx. half a bottle) 
  • Shaving Cream
  • Measuring scoop

Here are our supplies with a bunch of glue in our bowl.

Start by drawing a big round moon on the paper. Your child might want to colour this with crayons as well.  It doesn’t have to be a perfect circle, as the moon’s surface isn’t perfectly flat!


Then make the paint. Mix together in a large mixing bowl ½ cup glue and 1 ½ cups shaving cream.

Now let your child explore and spread it on the paper in the moon outline.

Feel free to draw lots of little asteroids around the moon, or anything else you’d like! 

This activity is insanely fun! We spent so much time just squishing the paint between our fingers. It is a really great sensory experience and sooooo fun to play with.

We had extra paint, so we decided to paint other things as well. Take a look!

Let it dry overnight. It will dry puffy and soft and very cool looking. You can even cut out your moon if you like! But really, it’s still so soft to touch when it’s dry.

For young children, this activity pairs well with moon stories like: 

  • Goodnight Beautiful Moon by Cartoon Saloon
  • Peppa in Space adapted by Reika Chan 
  • Howl at The Moon by Jessica Young, illustrated by James Burks
  • Let’s go to the moon by Erica Silverman
  • Coyote Sings to The Moon by Thomas King, illustrations by Byron Eggenschwiler
  • Flight of the Moon Dragon by Tracey West
  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
  • Kitten First Full Moon by Kevin, Henkes
  • How Raven Freed the Moon by Anne Cameron
  • Mission to the Moon! by Jordan Brown

Find these and more in our catalogue at tnrl.ca!

Bonus Activity:

We had to do this experiment twice because we used the wrong glue the first time. This is what happens when you use multi-purpose wood glue, not white glue. It turns into sticky icky marshmallow fluff. It’s still fun, but definitely not paint. We managed to make a moon, but it was really hard. Check out these photos from our failed experiment.