To go along with the "Star" theme, we are having our local Science Center bring their Star Lab for the kids and parents to "explore their galaxy." I was looking for an easy craft project for the kids to do as they arrived that went along with the theme and this is what I came up with: Galaxy in a Jar.
You will need:
Photo paper (dollar tree) and printer
Push pins (dollar tree)
Cardboard or foam board (dollar tree)
Led push light (dollar tree)
3 AAA batteries (dollar tree)
LARGE MOUTH pint canning jar with lid
Start by printing the FREE constellation file here on your photo paper. The photo paper is thick enough to block most of the light, but thin enough to allow the constellations guides and terms to show.
Cut out one image.
Lay your cut out on your cardboard or foam board and use your push pin to puncture the white dots. Feel free to pick the constellations you like best (if you do them all, you will be there for a while and your hand might get tired). You can make smaller holes for the smaller stars and larger ones for the larger stars to make it appear more realistic.
Install the batteries in your LED push light.
Remove the sticky back and secure the light in the bottom of the canning jar.
Insert your punched constellation map so it lines the jar and the bottom is between the light and the jar.
Turn on the light and replace the lid.
View your "Galaxy" or constellations in a dark room.
For FREE monthly sky maps and what to look for in the sky, visit Skymaps
Another more kid-friendly site with free maps is Kids Astronomy