Have you ever stopped and gazed at the stars on a clear dark night? It’s one of my favorite things to do when we have a quiet evening and the conditions cooperate. Why not try this easy to print and set up constellation activities that we’ll get everyone outside. A simple and easy way to explain the constellations for kids. Perfect for fun space activities for kids!
AWESOME CONSTELLATION FACTS FOR KIDS!
WHAT ARE CONSTELLATIONS?
Learn a bit about the constellations in the night sky! Our constellation printable cards are a great way to incorporate hands-on learning and simple astronomy for kids.
But first, what is a constellation? Constellations simply are a group of stars that form a recognizable pattern. These patterns are named after what they form or sometimes they are given the name of a mythological figure.
Read on to find out what the 7 major constellations that you will see in the night sky are, and even a few fun constellation facts for kids.
CONSTELLATIONS FOR KIDS
If you go outside and look up into the night sky, you might be able to see these constellations below.
The Big Dipper
This is one of the most well known and easiest things in the sky to spot. It is actually part of a larger constellation, Ursa Major (the Great Bear).
Once you can find it, you can find the Little Dipper which is also part of a larger constellation, Ursa Minor (the Little Bear). The Big Dipper is used often to find the North Star, making it useful for directions.
Orion The Hunter
In mythology, Orion was known as one of the most handsome men. His constellation can be found facing a bull or chasing the Pleiades sisters in the sky. He is shown with his large club. Orion’s belt is a string of very bright stars that is very easy to find and well known.
Leo is a Zodiac constellation and one of the largest and oldest in the sky. It depicts a lion.
This constellation represents a lyre, a popular musical instrument and goes with the myth of the Greek musician and poet Orpheus. When he was young, Apollo gave Orpheus a golden lyre and taught him to play. He was known to be able to charm everyone with his music.
In the famous story about the Argonauts crossing the ocean filled with Sirens who sang songs (which enticed the sailors to come to them, thus crashing their ships) it was Orpheus who played his lyre and drowned out even the Sirens with his beautiful music, making the sailors safely get to shore.
Orpheus was eventually killed by Bacchantes who threw his lyre into the river. Zeus sent an eagle to retrieve the lyre and placed both Orpheus and his lyre into the sky.
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Cepheus is a large constellation and home to the Garnet Star, one of the largest known stars in the Milky Way Galaxy. Cepheus was King and husband to Cassiopeia. He tried to save his wife and kingdom after Cassiopeia started trouble with her vanity. Zeus placed him in the sky after his death because he was descendant of one of Zeus’s great loves.
This constellation is easy to spot due to it’s ‘W’ shape. It is named after Cassiopeia, a queen in Greek mythology who was married to Cepheus, which is a neighboring constellation.
Cassiopeia was vain and boastful causing a sea monster to come to the coast of their kingdom. The only way to stop it was to sacrifice their daughter. Luckily she was saved by the Greek hero Perseus and later they got married.
FREE PRINTABLE CONSTELLATION CARDS
Download and print out these free constellation cards, containing all of the major constellations mentioned above. These constellation cards are a simple tool to use in many activities and are great for making constellations simple for kids. They will be so busy playing they forget how much they are learning!
- The Big Dipper
- Orion the Hunter
Making your constellation flashcards is super easy, but we have some extra star activities for you to try out too. Some of these materials are optional depending on what activities you want to try!
YOU WILL NEED:
- Black construction paper or cardstock
- Chalk markers
- Star stickers
- Hole puncher
- Free printable constellation cards
STEP 2: You can choose to glue or tape each card to a heavyweight piece of black paper for durability. Alternatively, you can have each card laminated.
STEP 3: Explore the stars with the one or more of the constellation activities listed below.
1. Matching Constellations
Print off two sets of the constellation cards. I pasted ours on cardstock to make them a bit more durable. Take turns flipping two over to try to get a match. You can also laminate them!
2. Make Your Own Constellation
On large index cards or paper, draw a constellation card and use star stickers to recreate the constellation.
3. Constellation Art
Cut sponges into star shapes. On a piece of black construction paper, dip the sponge into the paint and stamp the constellation onto the paper. Then, dip a paintbrush into paint and splatter to create the smaller stars that surround the large stars of the constellation.
4. Find The Constellation
Head outside on a clear night and try to find as many of the constellations as you can.
5. Create An Indoor Night Sky
Using a hole punch, punch out the stars on the constellation cards. Hold them up to a flashlight and shine the light through the holes. The constellation should appear on the wall. Have people guess what constellation you are projecting.
See how to make a planetarium from simple supplies!
6. Make Constellation Lacing Cards
Print the large individual constellation cards onto cardstock. Using yarn and a child-safe needle, weave the yarn through the cards to connect the stars to show the constellation.
Go ahead and use these constellation activities as inspiration for fun ways to use your constellation cards!
MORE FUN SPACE ACTIVITIES
- Moon Phases Craft
- Oreo Moon Phases
- Glow In The Dark Puffy Paint Moon
- Fizzy Paint Moon Craft
- Watercolor Galaxy
- Solar System Project
SIMPLE AND FUN CONSTELLATION ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS!
Discover more fun and easy space activities right here. Click on the link or on the image below.