Has eclipse mania swept through your house? Do you want to make sure you and your kids can view the event without damaging your eyes? Stop trying to find those glasses because they are loooooonnnnngggg gone! Instead, you can make a sun projector with everyday items around your home for pennies on the dollar!
Remember, looking directly at the sun without proper eye protection, even during an eclipse, is very dangerous. Check out NASA’s viewing safety tips.
The supplies around the house are pretty simple: cereal boxes (however many viewers you are planning to make), scissors, plain white paper, foil, and tape and/or glue. Fellow OKCMB blogger, Lacey, and I were having one of those days with our kids where there would have been a sobbing cry-fest over who got the wizard cereal box and who got the boring cereal box, so we went ahead and wrapped each box with wrapping paper to give each kiddo a blank slate.
Depending on your child’s abilities, either you or them cut two holes on the top on the cereal box. Before securing the center, cut a strip of plain white paper and glue or tape it to the inside of the bottom of the box. This is where you will see the projection of the eclipse. If you would like, go ahead and reinforce the center by giving it a few layers of masking tape. I also secured the entire perimeter so that our wrapping paper didn’t slip or slide during the decorating portion of our project.
This next part is optional, but also where our kids had the most fun. Decorate your box using any supplies you have lying around the house. During my Amazing Mom Planning Period, I envisioned laying out glitter, pom poms, glow in the dark stick-on stars and other supplies to make a totally galactic eclipse viewer. Instead, we busted out most of a set of markers. Over time, I’ve learned that knowing your target audience’s attention span is much more important than razzle-dazzle. In this case, we had about 15 minutes. No sweat!
The final part of your project is the most important. Take a piece of foil and cover one of the holes on the top of your cereal box. Make sure it’s taped in place. Take something to make a small hole into the center of the foil such as a nail or the tip of a corkscrew (not that I’m speaking from experience). When it is eclipse time, stand with your back facing the sun, and look into your projector. The sunlight will shine through the pinhole and let you safely observe a projection of the eclipse. Happy viewing!