Polk County Conservation Board
Age level: 4 or 5 year olds
and an adult
Season: Late Fall or Winter
Time: 1 hour
Topic:Stars and Moon
Theme: The night sky holds many treasures and mysteries.
The Nature Friends program is for 4-
or 5-year old children with an adult. Maximum group size if 20 child-adult
teams. Programs are outside unless weather does not permit.
Title: Starlight - Star
Story: Stargazing Sky by Deborah Kogan Ray
Discussion: “What does night mean to you? Where does the
sun go at night? What is the large rock in the sky called?” (The moon)
Show pictures of day and night, sun and moon.
Activity: Earth and Sun Model
Materials needed: a small ball, a flashlight, a sticker or tape
1. Place a small sticker on a ball
or globe. This will represent your home on earth.
2. In a dark room, set the
flashlight on a table and turn it on. The flashlight represents the sun.
3. Hold the ball in front of the
light so that the sticker side is lit up. It is daytime at your home.
4. Slowly turn the ball around in
your hand until the sticker side is in the dark. It is night-time at your
5. Turn the ball around again.
The earth is like a ball that spins
around once every 24 hours. When the Sun shines on Earth, it lights up
only half of the planet. While that half of Earth has day, the other half
*Excerpted from The Night
Book by Pamela Hickman
Animals of the Night: (rainy or cloudy night discussion)
Use the duck, fox, and opossum
puppets while discussing the following:
Discuss how the duck and geese will
travel at night.
Discuss the fox, opossum, and other
Good Weather Activity
Take the group out to look at the
night sky. Bring binoculars, spotting scope or telescope to view the
moon’s craters and dry seas. Point out Venus, the North Star, the Little
Dipper, the Big Dipper and Draco the Dragon constellations. These
constellations can be seen any time of year.
Craft: A Star Scope
Materials needed: toilet paper tubes, black construction paper, a star map, a
pencil, a pin, scissors, tape
1. Stand the cardboard tube on a
piece of black construction paper and trace around it. Cut out the circle.
2. Choose one constellation
from the star map and copy it onto your black circle, using pencil dots.
3. With the pin, poke a hole
through each pencil dot, or star, in the constellation.
4. Tape the circle to the end of the
cardboard tube. Make sure the tape doesn’t cover any of your pinholes.
5. Hold the open end of the
tube up to your eye and point the other end at a window or light. You
should be able to see the constellation shining through.
6. You can use several tubes
and make a different constellation for each star scope.
7. Make different constellations
with your friends. Take turns looking through the star scopes and
guessing which constellations they show.
Snack: Sara Lee Snack: Star cookies or moon cakes
Or cheese and crackers (For the
cheese on the moon wife’s tale.)
Star light, star bright
The first star I see tonight
I wish, I may, I wish, I might
Have this wish I wish tonight.
Song: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star
Twinkle, twinkle little star.
How I wonder what you are.
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky.
- The big rock in the sky that revolves around the
Earth is the moon.
- The large dark areas on the moon are the huge sunken
seas that have no water.
- The round holes, or craters, were formed when
objects in space, like rocks, crashed into the moon’s surface.
- It is 29.5 days from one New Moon to another.
- Shooting stars are actually meteors or bits of stone
or metal burning up as they pass into the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Binoculars are great for star watching. You
will notice some stars are brighter than others due to different sizes and
distances from Earth.
References: The Night Book by Pamela Hickman
...prepared by Lori Foresman-Kirpes
Polk County Conservation Board
Nature Friends is funded by Polk
County Conservation Board,
West Des Moines Park and Recreation,
and the Des Moines Chapter of the
Izaak Walton League.
Gross motor or kinesthetic
development (moving, running, moving your body, jumping)
Small motor or tactual development
(blocks, puzzles, sensory)
(songs, patterns, sound)
(understanding other people and
(understanding of the physical