Over the Moon: Engaging Moon Activity
My daughter became obsessed with the moon at a very young age. I am not sure if it was from the old nursery rhyme where the cow jumped over the moon or just seeing it glaring from the sky above in all its luminescence. I can still hear her saying ‘The moon! The moon is my friend!’ When she said this, you can tell in her eyes that she truly believed that moon was indeed a long lost friend. This passion for something so far a way has had me wanting to bring an educational aspect to the wonder of the moon.
In this activity, your child will be able to use his own imagination to create what they believe the moon looks like by molding their own out of salt dough. Salt dough is such an easy thing to work with and is just as easy to make! At the end of this activity, your child will be left with not only the beauty of imagination, but also the knowledge of something so intriguing. Let’s get to making the moon!
The 3 main ingredients for salt dough is flour, salt, and water. This recipe will make more than enough for one moon (we made 2 decent sized moons out of it).
2 cups flour (all purpose)
1 cup salt
1 cup of warm water
First, preheat the oven to 250F. This step will aid in the hardening of the moon at a much faster rate. While the oven is preheating, have your child measure and mix all 3 ingredients in a mixing bowl (to your child’s capability). Once the dough is mixed well, it will begin to form a big dough ball. Now have your child take the dough ball and form it into a moon. Your child may want the moon to be a flat circle or possibly a spherical moon. Let your child decide which moon they want and go from there! After your child has shaped his moon, have him make craters into the dough with his finger tips. You can explain what the craters are: craters are deep holes formed into the ground of the moon. These craters are due to asteroids or meteorites colliding into the moon’s surface. The moon does not have a protective atmosphere like the earth. It is for this reason that the moon has so many craters (deep holes) compared to the earth. You can also tell your child that when we hear the saying ‘Man in the Moon’, it is because of these craters-making the moon look like it has a face!
Once your child is happy with how his moon looks, it is ready for the baking step. Put the moon onto a baking sheet (I put a sheet of parchment paper onto my baking sheet to make clean up easier). The amount of time your moon has to bakes depends on the shape/size your child made his moon. My kids made 2 spherical moons out of the batch of salt dough, and it took approximately 55 minutes for the moons to harden. You will know that the moons are done baking once they are hard to the touch. It can take up to an hour and a half. When your moon has completed the baking step, allow it to completely cool.
This next step is dependent on your child (as well as you). The moon can be painted or colored once it has cooled. My kids chose to paint their moons to make them look more realistic. Again, is all in your child’s imagination. Get ready for your child’s face to light up when they hold their own moon.
Below I have attached a few worksheets to go along with this moon activity.
I hope you all enjoy this engaging activity!