Jan 4, 2011

Moon Craters

Moon craters is another activity I have adapted from Smart Toys: For Babies from Birth to Two. Although my construction of the project varied from the author's plan, I have to admit that cutting small holes on the bottom of egg cartons for the children to poke their fingers through was pure genius. My children love it!
Step One
Cut out the bottom tips of an egg carton, as well as 12 (or 6 if you use a smaller carton) cardboard circles to fit inside.
Step Two
Find 12 different textures around your home for your child to feel. Pictured below are my examples, left to right.
  • Crumpled tin foil on the bottom, craft foam on top. (I only did this because I ended up with 13 textures after I had glued them all and I didn't know which one to eliminate. Silly, I know).
  • Soft side of leather
  • Thick foam (leftover from our crawling track)
  • Thin foam
  • Shiny cloth
  • Sandpaper
  • (bottom row)Felt
  • Denim scrap
  • 3 cotton balls
  • Rough cleaning pad
  • Skin side of leather
  • Rabbit Fur (my daughter's favorite!)

    Step Three Trace, cut out, and hot glue the textured pieces to the cardboard circles. Step Four Hot glue the circles into the carton(pictured below). In the book they simply told you to tape them in, but since I had the gun out anyway, I decided this would work equally well. One of my circles has fallen in, however, so if I did it again, I would do both.
    Step Five Seal the carton closed. Once again I simply glued it shut. Closing the carton prevents the children from trying to tear the circles out of the carton, and focuses the attention on the "moon craters".

    Closing Remarks

    I have to laugh because this book referred to the game as a "digital" experience. I am so accustomed to having "digital" refer to computers, but this book is 30 years old, and at that time one would instantly think of your fingers when you hear the word. Indeed, this is a very digital activity, and the little holes are very inviting to little fingers. Also, I want to share a great astronomy unit study page for moon craters that would be applicable to preschool children if you want to take it to the next step. The construction took me roughly two hours to complete, gathering a scrap here and there, and finally sitting down to complete it when I felt I had enough textures. It was worth it. I had all of the materials around the home so I didn't have to buy anything. The children love it! Of course, Michael's rabbit fur he won when he was a boy scout doesn't look as pretty as it once did, but that's another story...

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