Tin Foil Constellations

Children love the glow of the stars, and here’s a beautiful way to bring that glow inside! This activity doubles as a quick lesson on constellations and a D.I.Y. nightlight.

To start, I set out a sheet of tin foil and showed Veronika how to prick it with a toothpick to make dots. We did this step over a yoga mat, so the toothpicks wouldn’t scratch a tabletop or other surface; you could also place a sheet of felt underneath.

While she made holes at random, I made more deliberate constellation shapes, such as the Big Dipper. Older kids can follow along with pictures of real constellations, too. For a toddler, this was a great first chance to talk with Veronika about how some of the stars make shapes in the sky.

Next, we fit the dotted sheet of foil inside a mason jar. This was trickier than I thought, with the foil crumpling on the first round, so we quickly made a second sheet and inserted it more smoothly. It helps to make the holes a bit wider than the point of the toothpick, too, so they show up better.

Finally, we needed to light up the night sky! Veronika helped turn on a tea light, which we then inserted into the jar.

She marveled at the twinkle as soon as we were in a darkened room! Even better, the stars will twinkle in her bedroom all night long.

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