Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown has been Big T’s favorite bed time book since she was a year old. Over the last few weeks, something clicked. It may have been the way the full moon was shinning in her room, or all the talk about the lunar eclipse, but she looked outside excitedly and shouted ‘Mooo’ while pointing at the moon. For our non verbal child to be excited about verbalizing and sharing an interest was an immense gift for us, and we chose to explore it with her.
Here’s what our activities for the week looked like.
Day 1: Crater Jump
Supplies needed: colorful tape and washable marker.
This activity holds endless gross motor fun! After watching The Cat in the Hat – Jumping on the Moon, Big T wanted to see how high she could jump. I created a moon with craters on the floor with tape and let her jump from crater to crater. She hoped, she leaped, she crawled! Her imagination and gross motor skills were fully displayed. With added children music (our favorite is the cbc kids streaming app), she giggled as she moon danced. I ensured the craters were wide enough to add in numbers and letters, to be able to alternate the game and add in number and letter recognition. Either it’s naming them in order as she jumps through them, playing lunar hopscotch, or calling one out for her to jump in, the possibilities were endless.
Day 2: Moon Dough
Supplies needed: 1 cup of baking soda per ~ 1 tbsp of colored water, sparkles of choice
For the purpose of recreating the surface of the moon, we added blue and purple food coloring to the water, as well as silver, blue and purple sparkles. Big T had a ball mixing all the dry ingredients while I gently added the water as to not dissolve the baking soda. The results were spectacular! Gritty, clumpy, and damp, yet dry and soft! It was a beautiful blueish tinge, the same as we see on a full moon. We looked at pictures of the moon and outlined the craters, and i voiced how they were created. Asteroids, big rocks, crashed on the moon, leaving giant holes behind. I then added marbles to the moon dough and dropped them from different heights to create an ere of craters. This activity provided sensory stimuli and fine motor skills, a little dip in science, as well as mathematical exploration from creating the dough.
We quadrupled the batch to make moon rocks for future activities. To do so, we just packed the dough in handfuls, and added water to the surface with a dropper to create a crust. We let them air dry for a day.
Day 3: Moon Rocks
This activity was my favorite. It occupied Big T for an hour of independent play, but I was as captivated by the beauty of the experiment. Using the moon rocks we created the day before, Big T became an astronaut in training. She collected, observed, and dissembled the rocks. She found different colors, textures, sizes, and counted the rocks she could find, and in how many pieces she could hammer them. Fine motor skills were engaged as she used the small hammer to break the rocks open. To finish we used a dropper to add vinegar to the rocks. The magic of the bubbles and sparkles captivated her, and myself, in it’s chemical reaction.
As Big T loved this unit, we will continue next week with more lunar activities