Have you ever had the awesome experience of witnessing a total eclipse of the sun? Even if you have, there is a good chance that your children have never seen one. Lucky for us all, a solar eclipse is approaching!
On August 21, the total eclipse will be visible from only a certain “strip” of the country — extending from Oregon to South Carolina. But even if you aren’t fortunate enough to be in a section of the U.S. that will experience a total eclipse, chances are that you’ll be able to see at least a partial eclipse of the sun by the shadow of the moon. Barring any clouds or rain, it should be an incredible sight.
Time.com posted a very cool simulation that will show you just how much of the eclipse you will be able to see from your part of the country.
Don’t forget, though, that there are certain measures that must be taken in order to safely enjoy an eclipse. We can’t forget that we should never look directly at the sun — even while it is in the process of being obscured by the moon. The only time it is safe to do so is when the sun is completely covered by the moon’s shadow. Here are some fun activities and other information that will make the eclipse of 2017 an event to remember!
Solar eclipse books for kids
Kids can appreciate events so much more when they have the opportunity to learn about them ahead of time. Use the rest of this week to get some great books on solar eclipses and read up on the topic with your little ones! They’ll certainly be curious about the phenomenon and then their minds will be blown when they can actually witness it in person.
Make an eclipse viewer
One way to view the eclipse (without staring directly into the blinding sun) is to build a viewer. This particular one is incredibly easy, and safe for your little astronomers. After Monday, it will be a nice keepsake of the first eclipse that they got to witness!
Solar eclipse printable worksheets
Another great way to keep the kids interested and engaged with regard to the eclipse is to offer them some worksheets on the subject. With word searches, a matching game, a coloring page, and more, they can learn while they play, and that is the best way for the information to be absorbed.
Pinhole solar eclipse viewer
If you have older kids and want to make a slightly more involved eclipse viewer, then this is the link for you. You might remember making something similar when you were young and had the chance to witness your first eclipse.
Cool total solar eclipse facts
Did you know that the width of the moon’s shadow is 170 miles wide? Or that the next total eclipse of the sun won’t happen until April of 2024? This site has some pretty cool information that you might want to share with your children before the big day.
Total solar eclipse cocktail
And then there’s something for mommy and daddy. No one said that you couldn’t celebrate the eclipse with a little cocktail for yourself! Sure, it might be at its peak early in the day, but it’s five o’clock somewhere, right?
DIY solar eclipse
If your kids just love the eclipse and want to relive the moment over and over again, then they can create their very own eclipses using a flashlight! This is also a good option if you aren’t able to see the eclipse in person on the big day.