Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marshmallow Constellations

I mentioned in this marshmallow stamping post that I'd be doing another project with marshmallows this week. With our camping theme, we also are talking a little about the night sky. We have a space theme planned for next week, but I wanted to give the kids a little "preview" of what's to come. We learned about constellations today. I brought in a telescope craft that I made with a class years ago. We covered paper towel tubes with white paper and used stamps to decorate it. Then I added black to the top and bottom.
One end was covered in 4 layers of black tissue paper. I used a big safety pin to poke holes in it to make the big dipper. (You need to make the dipper's handle on the opposite side for it to work.)
When you look through it, toward a light source, you can see the big dipper!
The kids all had a chance to look through it. I wanted to do this craft with them, but there was no way I could get enough paper towel tubes in time. Maybe next year. If I do, I'll share it with you all again and go into a little more detail.
After we learned about some constellations, the kids made their own constellations using mini marshmallows and toothpicks. You've seen this many times, I'm sure, but I will show you anyway.
That's my example and I cheated by making a real constellation. But I told the kids they had to invent their own! So I put out the marshmallows and colored toothpicks (I think colored ones look so much cooler than regular toothpicks) and the kids got to work.
Once the constellation was put together, the kids picked up each marshmallow and squeezed out a tiny bit of glue under it.
I asked each child what the name of their constellation was and I wrote it on the paper. Then I wrote "Discovered by" and the child's name. Some examples:
"Barn"
 "Rectangle-Square"
And my favorite, "Funny Dipper"
I can't wait for my space theme next week. The kids are going to learn so much!

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