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starScience Activities

Lunar Phases

Lunar phases are apparent in every clear night sky. From full to new, these phases show something different about the movement of celestial bodies. This activity will not only teach your children about this movement, it will show them how the movement changes the way that the moon looks from Earth.

Activity Instructions

With your children, find a lunar calendar for the current month. Show your kids how the moon’s phase changes over several weeks. Next, read the information that this website provides about lunar phases, including why they occur and the difference between a regular full moon and a Harvest Moon. Answer any questions that your kids have using this resource or other online materials that you may find if necessary.

Give each of your kids a calendar and, every night, assist them in observing the phase of the moon. Have them draw what the moon looks like on their calendar. As they are drawing, reinforce the information they learned by asking why the moon looks the way it does. Is the moon waxing (becoming more visible) or waning (becoming less visible)? Is it a crescent moon (less than half of it is illuminated) or a gibbous moon (more than half of it is illuminated)? Teach your kids to apply these terms to the current lunar phase. For example, the moon is waxing gibbous a few days before it becomes full.


Calendar (one for each child)
Pencil (one for each child)


This science activity for kids will demonstrate celestial movement while teaching your kids to apply the scientific knowledge they accumulate.