Have you and your kids discovered geoboards yet? Or are you searching for kid’s astronomy projects to engage your young stargazer? Well we‘ve got a double whammy here for you today, DIY Constellation Geoboards. Make this simple constellation geoboard for a great kids astronomy project and get that young astronaut cracking!
As a child I was an astronomy nut. I had a subscription to the kid’s astronomy magazine, Odyssey, and I remember quite a few nights spent looking at the stars with my Dad. In Los Angeles that meant looking at about 5 stars with all the light pollution, however when our family would escape the city for the weekend, my Dad and I would bring the telescope and start looking at the sky.
And even if your child is not interested in astronomy these easy-to-make constellation geoboards are fun for kids who just like to stick pins in things! My daughter LOVES playing with pins. There I said it! I know that sounds dangerous but she can’t get enough of poking push pins into cork or my tomato pin cushion. If your child fits that description then it’s time to get to work!
A note on the template: I’m no astronomer! This template is a simplified star chart that in no way claims to be an accurate representation of the night sky! Use it for this fun project only.
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- Geoboard Template
- (2) 7” Round Cork Trivets ( I bought mine at IKEA)
- Ball Head Straight Pins
- Mod Podge Matte Finish
- Hot Glue and Hot Glue Gun
- Cosmetic Wedges
- Small Rubber Bands
- Step One Print out the Geoboard Template. Depending on the age of your child choose either Template Page 1 or Page 2. I suggest Template 1 for older children and Template 2 for younger kids; it is enlarged and easier for kids who are still developing their fine motor skills.
- Step Two Cut the selected template out.
- Step Three Using a cosmetic wedge cover the surface of one trivet with Mod Podge and glue down your template to the cork.
- Step Four Dab the edges and top the template with more Mod Podge to adhere it to the trivet. Be careful to dab it only! Brushing the glue across the top of the template may cause the black ink to bleed slightly when it is moistened.
- Step Five Let dry.
- Step Six Take a second trivet and apply hot glue to one surface. Glue it to the bottom of your geoboard. Adding the second layer of cork will allow you to really secure the pins in place.
You’re done! Here’s the invitation to play:
Allow your child to start placing pins in each of the star points. We used pins with different sized heads to look more “starry”. Once there are enough pins in place, start adding rubber bands to form the outlines of the constellations! The rubber bands can be woven between the pins to form lines. Alternatively, let your child create their own constellations! My son had no interest in following the constellation outlines but wanted to make his own shapes using the rubber bands. I wonder what constellations would look like if he had been in charge of creating them…Here’s his handiwork along with a shot of what he decided would be a good idea for all our pins….yes they are now stuck like a giant porcupine to a heavy duty magnet. Ouch!
Sally Ride. On the science tip this project definitely made Sally Ride come to mind. What young girl from the 1980’s wasn’t inspired by Ms. Ride? I remember dreaming that I would be in her space shoes someday. She truly broke barriers for women in the space industry and remains an icon of mine.
This project also has such a retro look that Eichler Homes came to mind. I could see a couple of these geoboards sitting in the playroom of one of these homes back in the 1950s. Aren’t familiar with Eichler homes? Joseph Eichler was a modernist housing developer who created some wonderful communities here in Southern and Northern California. The homes were all designed for families and have lovely indoor and outdoor spaces with clerestories and tons of natural light. If you ever have a chance to visit one or better yet buy one, don’t miss out! Here is SoCal there is a lovely development in Granada Hills. A truly restored Eichler home is a thing of beauty.
If you love the classic Geoboard be sure to make one of your own using this geoboard tutorial! If you enjoy all things planetary don’t miss out on our Paper Planets or Cosmic Suncatchers! And I have been seeing so many other fabulous space related kids projects online lately. Check out this amazing Aurora Borealis Sensory Bin by Babes in Deutschland, these super cool space snowglobes by Red Ted Art, or make a super moon like this one at Artchoo!
Don’t miss out on our upcoming projects featuring wood all month long: “Like” us on FB to follow along! Your child’s inner Sally Ride thanks you!