How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer

My four-year-old is into all things science and nature right now.  It turns out there’s a solar eclipse coming up very soon, so it’s a great opportunity to learn a little more about the sun and the moon.  We made this simple solar eclipse viewer so that we could watch safely as the moon slips over the sun because you cannot look directly at a solar eclipse.How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer

Related Pages: Solar System Worksheets for Kids, Printable Constellation Maps

What you need to make a solar eclipse viewer:

  • Cereal box
  • Aluminum foil
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • White paper
How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer

How to Make a Solar Eclipse Viewer

 

Cut a sheet of white paper just a bit smaller than the bottom of your cereal box and tape it to the inside. This will be your projection screen where you can safely see the eclipse..

Cut a sheet of white paper just a bit smaller than the bottom of your cereal box and tape it to the inside. This will be your projection screen where you can safely see the eclipse.

 

Cut off the top side tabs of your cereal box, along with about 1 1/2 inches on each end of the top flaps.

Cut off the top side tabs of your cereal box, along with about 1 1/2 inches on each end of the top flaps.

 

Tape your aluminum foil over one side. This will be the "lens" of your solar eclipse viewer.

Tape your aluminum foil over one side. This will be the “lens” of your solar eclipse viewer.

 

With a pencil or a pin, poke a small hole into your aluminum foil to allow the image of the sun in.

With a pencil or a pin, poke a small hole into your aluminum foil to allow the image of the sun in.

 

The finished solar eclipse viewer will look like this, although you could totally fancy it up with some paint or some astronomy-themed stickers!

The finished solar eclipse viewer will look like this, although you could totally fancy it up with some paint or some astronomy-themed stickers!

 

How to use your solar eclipse viewer.

How to use your solar eclipse viewer.

 

OK, so I sort of cheated on the picture since it’s daytime and indoors, but I wanted to get a good shot of how to use it.

1. Stand with your back to the sun.

2. Look through the viewing window.

3. Move the box around until the image of the sun comes in through the pinhole and is projected onto the bottom of the box.

4.  Watch as the circle gets smaller and smaller when the moon moves between the earth and the sun!

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About the author

Lorna Doone Brewer is a freelance writer, also known as the Queen Bee. She lives in the beautiful Inland Northwest with three spirited daughters and a wildly outnumbered husband.

View all articles by Lorna Doone Brewer

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