Unless you’re living with no access to television or internet, you know that America will experience a solar eclipse this Monday, August 21st. For a large band of the country (including our home) this will be a total eclipse–a rare event that won’t occur again in America until 2024! I still remember watching an eclipse in fourth grade, and I’m thrilled to share this experience with our children. We’re prepping our home and our kids to get the most out of this truly educational experience, and we want to help you do the same!
- Learn about the eclipse beforehand. Spend a little time this weekend teaching your kids about the sun, the moon, and the cause of the eclipse. Read together about what to expect as the earth darkens, and make predictions together about what might happen at your viewing spot. Try an experiment with balls as the earth and moon and a flashlight as the sun, attempting to create a mini version of the eclipse. For more ideas, check out the The Mom Creative’s roundup, including links to printables.
- Decorate. Decorations make everything feel a little more festive, even an eclipse! Let your kids help make some homemade decor, like sunshines or yellow and black paper chains. If you’re tight on time or want an easier solution, stop by a party store for some yellow and black party items. I’m planning a run to Dollar Tree tonight to grab yellow and black plates, napkins, and a few hanging pom-poms like these. At $1 for a two-pack, they’re a festive steal!
- Consider your clothing. If you really want to go all in, several retailers (including most Wal-Marts) are selling eclipse shirts. If you want to increase the fun factor without buying specialty shirts, plan to all wear yellow and/or black, or even pick up some cheap tees at your local craft store and let your children draw a sun on them.
- Plan your snacks. All parents know that any event with kids requires snacks. No one wants to watch the eclipse with a hungry, grumpy little one! Make your snacks fun and on theme with ideas like moon pies, sun chips, cheese balls, melon balls, or sandwiches cut with a sun or moon cookie cutter.
- Double check your gear. Make sure you have everything on hand to fully enjoy this exciting event–check your glasses, check your refrigerator, and try to avoid a last-minute trip to the store. Experts are predicting heavy traffic as people move towards the areas of totality, so making your preparations this weekend will allow you to more comfortably enjoy sharing the eclipse with your child.