I’m sharing my top ideas for celebrating a Solar Eclipse in style from party planning tips to what the children should wear! This blog post will keep your students or children safe and they will love helping you create these fun activities, crafts, and more!
This is an older post that I wrote right before the Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017. Enjoy!
I can’t take how cute this little one is in her Solar Eclipse wear!
I’ve been looking forward to the Great American Solar Eclipse for months and I can’t believe it’s actually here.
I have a terrible blister under my left thumbnail from making 17 jet-packs, protective eye-wear, and astronaut name-tags, but it was totally worth it. I wanted to share some of my ideas and a FREEBIE with you!
If you haven’t already, head over to TPT and grab my Solar Eclipse resource. It is jam-packed with crafts, activities, differentiated writing prompts for BEFORE & AFTER the eclipse, party ideas, costume ideas, warning signs about the danger of looking at the eclipse, nonfiction books, templates to make your own class books, word wall cards to help you lead discussions, & so much more!
You can click on the picture to grab it.
I even made a video that explains a lot of the activities included and gives you a close up idea of everything you will find in the product – you can go here if you would rather watch a video than read through blah, blah, blah! 🙂
Solar Eclipse Activities Video by Pencils to Pigtails
Due to requests from my followers, I added a resource for 3rd – 6th grade which you can find by clicking the picture below! Some of the activities/crafts that I talk about in the video are included, as well as a research guide and opinion writing prompts!
We actually just had our first full day of kindergarten today and I jumped right in by talking about the eclipse. I started by asking if students had any background knowledge about the eclipse and then we went over the word wall cards from my resource.
Many of the kids pointed out that the moon will be “on top of” the sun and that it was not safe to look at it or you will “burn your eye up”. 🙂
I loved having a sample of the craft ready which is included in my product to demonstrate how the solar eclipse actually occurs. We also spent a long time talking about how dangerous it is to look at the sun without certified protective eye wear.
I read them the simplified class book today and then students created their own. Tomorrow I will read the nonfiction book and we will discuss the event in more detail. I am also planning to do the craft with them.
I started collecting 2-liters from the sweetest man about a month or so ago. He actually saved all 32 for me. Last week I got started spraying the 2-liters with a metallic spray paint I grabbed at Home Depot.
Of course, my daughter had to jump in and pose! 🙂
I rotated them after they dried and sprayed them one more time. I had precut the “plate masks” and this time I sprayed them as well. They just needed one quick coat.
Our school purchased special glasses for the event and I’m so glad they haven’t been recalled. It took a little time to make the first mask, but once you had your template, the next ones weren’t bad at all. I made sure that the glasses were nowhere near the scissors as I didn’t want to accidentally cut the lenses. When I arrived at school and tried them on my students, I realized that we definitely needed to add a rubber band in the back. The glasses we have are not sized for young children!
Here is a shot of the back for reference! You are basically cutting a small line on the sides of each plate, a triangle out for the nose, and small ovals/rectangles out for the eyes. Don’t try to put your glasses in until you are finished cutting! I hot-glued a rubber band we cut in half to the back and stapled it to make sure it stayed put. I also added tape to be sure there were no gaps or holes for sunlight to creep in.
I think this would be the safest way for young children to watch the eclipse. I am planning on having my daughter Aniston wear hers like this as well.
Hours later… ta-da!!!
Okay, back to the jet-packs. I happened to inherit some silver cardboard and hot-glued the 2-liters upside down to each sheet. I added some red tissue paper and orange felt to look like flames. (I would have rather used tissue paper for both colors but wasn’t able to find orange at my store.)
I used wide ribbon that I had laying around as the straps. I hot glued these on. Our fabulous interpreter happened to be walking by and popped in to help me. She went around and stapled the ribbons to be sure the ribbons wouldn’t easily be pulled off. After I tried them on my students I had to go back and make the straps much larger than I had originally thought. I think it would be a good idea to grab a child’s backpack to help you estimate how large you should make the straps.
As a final touch, I created these editable astronaut name tags which are available FREE in my TPT store! You can print them out and write your students’ names on them or I’ve included easy-to-follow instructions to type in your own names.
I used that same silver colored cardboard on the back of these. (Don’t judge my uneven cutting skills. I was in a mad rush to get these finished!)
Click on the photo to grab this FREEBIE for your classroom!
Sometime after 3 today it occurred to me that I had not sat down once at my desk. I guess that’s a typical first day of kindergarten for you!
I was so excited to have them all finished and ready to go!
How excited are my kids going to be when they come in and see their tables like this tomorrow?!?!?
I hope you have the BEST POSSIBLE eclipse experience with your students, family, or however you choose to spend it (whether it is watching a live-streaming event from indoors or SAFELY viewing it outdoors).
Happy teaching & mommying this week!
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