With The Great American Solar Eclipse just days away, I wanted to give you some ideas of fun activities you can do with your child. First, here are some fun facts that you can impress your friends and family with about the Eclipse:
- An eclipse occurs when the moon comes between the Earth and the Sun. The moon blocks a portion of the Sun’s light.
- A solar eclipse only happens during the phase of the moon called the New Moon, but it doesn’t happen every New Moon.
- The last solar eclipse happened 38 years ago, in 1979, but only a few states were able to observe it.
- Everyone in the continental United States will be able to see at least a partial eclipse, but the “ring” that you see in pictures will only be visible when in the totality phase along the very best viewing spots (which lasts for only 2 minutes).
Contrary to what many people believe, we won't spend the day in darkness. Especially if you are not along the 100% viewing path! Instead there ay be a gradual darkening of the sky leading up to the "totality" phase, but many people will not even notice a difference in the light.
With a little over a week till the big day, you have time to create a one-of-a-kind Eclipse Shirt for the occasion. This is really easy and something that you and your child can do together. Don't worry if you don't feel particularly crafty either--your child will have fun making it and will proud to wear something they made themselves.
Here's what you need: A black or dark-colored t-shirt, something round to trace a circle (ex: salad plate, round container, etc.) yellow or white paint-either acrylic or fabric paint works the best. I found some black light acrylic paint at Wal Mart, cheap, old paintbrush, pencil, a piece of foil, freezer paper and iron.
1. Trace a circle onto the freezer paper and cut it out.
2. Center the circle on your t-shirt and iron into place, using a dry iron.
3. Place a piece of foil in your shirt to prevent the paint from bleeding on the back of the shirt.
4. Using the white or yellow paint, brush outward around the circle. (Fabric paint and acrylic paint are both permanent on fabric, so be sure your child is wearing old clothes or a paint shirt. By the way, one of dad's old ratty t-shirts makes a great paint shirt for a child)
5. Dip the tip of your pencil in the paint and dot it randomly on your shirt to create stars. (If you use black light paint, the paint is barely visible once it dries)
6. Let dry.
7. I used another color to match some shorts that the boys would be wearing. Repeat the painting process with this new color, making shorter brush strokes so the previous paint will still show. Let dry.
8. Peel off the freezer paper and throw it away. Slip that shirt on and SHINE!!
These turned out so cute that I might just have to make one for myself as well. Now, where is my black light???