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7 Moon Activities for Kids: Phases of the Moon

Today we are exploring Moon Activities for Kids in preschool, kindergarten and first grade (older kids will enjoy them too!) as we wrap up our Discover & Explore Moon, Stars and Nighttime Sky. 

We had some really creative ideas for teaching your kids about the moon shared last week so I wanted to feature some of the fun hands-on science activities that help kids to learn about the moon and its’ phases. 

We’re also including a list of books about the moon and some fun science items along with their affiliate links — perfect for nighttime exploration or a great science unit on astronomy!

Moon activities for kids: crafts and science

7 Phases of the Moon Science Activities

Teaching children that the moon has different phases can be a tricky idea to convey. 

Most kids think that the moon changes its’ sizes and don’t realize that the reason the moon appears to be a different shape is due to the light from the sun.

These hands-on science activities each offer a unique way to discuss the changing phases of the moon.  

It’s always great to grab a few books to associate with any science activity — these are a few of our favorites and offer some wonderful vocabulary along with sights they will see on their moon walks!

By the way, if you are heading out for a night time walk to view the moon, grab this FREE printable Nighttime Scavenger Hunt and see what else happens after dark!




Faces of the Moon is a unique book that clearly explains why we see different shapes of the moon and how that occurs each month.

The Moon Book by one of our favorite science authors, Gail Gibbons, explains the movement of the moon along with it’s phases and other interesting facts (such as tides and eclipses).


Learn about the phases of the moon

Playdough Phases of the Moon

Use playdough or clay to create your own 3D Phases of the Moon!

This activity is fun for kids to do as they observe the changes in the moon’s shape over the course of the month.

The 4M Earth and Moon Model Kit also allows kids to build a moon model and see how the light from the sun will impact how we see the moon on earth!



Oreo Cookie Moon Phases

Train Up a Child used the classic (and tasty!) Oreo cookie activity to show kids how the moon has different shapes and phases

This can be a very effective way to show the light and dark areas of the moon and I love that they used cookies to show all the phases in a full cycle (I’m sure everyone will volunteer to help ‘clean up’ after this activity is over)!



Moon Phase Viewer

What do We do All Day shared two ways to study the moon’s phases.  The first is an AMAZING project – making a Moon Phase viewer using a salt container (now that’s creative!). 

The project looks like it’s pretty easy to make and I love the results – being able to lights up the different shapes of the moon on an inside wall.



Track Moon Phases with Stickers

The second idea from What do We do All Day is to track the phases of the moon on a calendar using circular stickers

This is a fun way to kids to do some actual observation of the moon and how it changes throughout the month, and then record what they see by placing stickers on a calendar. 



Learn about the Phases of the Moon

Finding the Teachable Moments shared an easily replicated activity – using moon phase cards to teach kids the four phases .

I love that they also integrated the various words into their reading activity.  (And I know it’s not related, but you have to check out their AWESOME idea for explaining the difference in gravity on the Earth and the moon)!



Moon Phases with a Lamp

Our last feature post is from Life with Moore Babies who used a great interactive activity to highlight how the sun’s light reflects the different phases of the moon

Using a lamp, globe and a small ball, the kids were able to get a great understanding of how the sun illuminates the surface of the moon and why the moon doesn’t always appear as a circle to us on Earth.



Astronomy for Kids: Marshmallow Constellations

Nighttime Scavenger Hunt {with free printable!}

Explore Bats & the Moon with books and activities


Phases of the Moon crafts and science activities