Since the moon is so far away, fun moon phase crafts and activities make learning tangible and fun for kids! The great news is that anyone from preschoolers to elementary school students can enjoy moon science activities.
Like most kids, mine are fascinated by the moon. They have a blast trying to find the glowing sphere in the night sky.
The changing moon phases are a fun daily surprise, too!
Here are ten easy moon phase crafts and activities my children and their friends have enjoyed at home and school.
I hope your kids enjoy learning the wacky moon phase names, exploring the stunning NASA pictures, and using our moon phase printables!
Since we’re raising multilingual children, examples of the moon activities are shown in English, Chinese, and/or Korean.
Special dates and holidays for moon crafts and activities
Moon crafts and activities are fun all year round. In addition to science class, moon phases are extra meaningful to include in a cultural unit study. Mark your calendars for these important holidays involving the moon!
Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival: This holiday involves a family reunion and celebration of the full moon. The date depends on the lunisolar calendar, sometime in September or October.
Korean Chuseok: In Korean culture, families gather to give thanks for the harvest and a full, bright moon. The same is the date as the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival.
National Moon Day: Celebrate the anniversary of the first moon walk by Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin on July 20, 1969.
Lunar New Year: In Asian cultures, this is the most important holiday. It begins on the day of the first new moon of the lunar calendar.
Easter: Because this Christian holiday is based on moon phases, it changes yearly. Easter falls on the Sunday after the first full moon or the day after the spring equinox.
Ramadan: Unlike other cultures, the crescent moon is most significant for Muslims. When it appears, it marks the start and the end of the month of Ramadan.
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Fun, hands-on moon crafts for kids
Check out these educational moon phase crafts if your kids like sensory activities. Which activity will your child like best?
Easiest moon phase craft: Aluminum foil moon phase poster
The interesting texture of aluminum foil is perfect for representing the bumpy moon’s surface with all the craters and mountains. Black construction paper makes for the perfect background. Use a silver marker to write moon phase names in English, Chinese, or any target language you are working on.
Supplies: foil, black paper, silver marker, glue, scissors
- Cut seven pieces of foil into moon phases. (Use the Montessori moon cards for reference.)
- Glue moon phases in order on black paper.
- Write moon phase names with a silver marker.
Fun activity to learn craters: Glue-resist moon phase craft
This is an incredibly cool moon phase activity for all ages! Thanks to the texture of dried glue, it’s an effective lesson on moon craters.
Our original idea was inspired by my children squeezing too much glue and admiring the texture when it dried.
Although it requires a little more patience than the other science activities here, my children say the fun glue-resist moon crafts are worth the time.
Instructions for the coolest glue-resist moon phase craft are here.
Best cultural craft: Play dough moon phase mooncakes
Mooncakes are an important part of the Chinese Mid-Autumn Moon Festival! With play dough moon cakes, you can easily combine culture with science in a simple, fun craft.
Supplies: play dough (or modeling clay), mooncake molds, butter knife, black paper or tray, printable bilingual labels:
- Cut moon shapes. (Use the Montessori moon cards for reference.)
- Arrange moon phases in order.
- Label moon phases.
Recommended: Chinese Moon Songs and Mid-Autumn Festival Poems
Best moon craft for preschoolers and kids
Here’s another paper plate moon craft idea! Transform a regular paper plate into a sweet crescent moon and star decoration for your room at home or school.
How cute is this idea for preschoolers or kids? Learn how to make this moon craft from Easy Peasy and Fun.
Best low-prep moon phase activities for kids
These fun moon phase activities are great for busy parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Hooray for minimal supplies and simple lesson plans!
Best activity to encourage observation: Moon phase journal
Keep track of your night sky discoveries with a moon phase journal! Print the moon journal on white paper and record the date and time. Then, color in the circle according to the different phases of the moon.
Choose English, Simplified Chinese, or Traditional Chinese language options.
Download your printable moon phase journal here.
Best Montessori moon phase activity for kids
Yummiest moon craft/activity for kids: Oreo cookie moon phases
This timeless Oreo cookie moon phase activity – or “snack-tivity” – was one of my favorites from elementary school! The Oreo cookie moon phase treat could also be fun for a solar system or a moon-themed birthday party.
Supplies: 8 Oreo cookies, a butter knife for scraping the frosting, and a plate. Use the Montessori moon cards as a reference for learning moon phase names and matching shapes.
- Slowly twist an Oreo open; keep as much frosting on one side as possible.
- Gently scrape the frosting off of each cookie (except the full moon) to create the moon’s phases.
- On your plate, put the phases of the moon in order.
Best solar system activity with moon phases
Reenact the Earth and moon rotation with this simple activity!
Steps: Watch the NASA video and recreate the motions with your supplies. Teach kids that the moon gradually rotates around the Earth and takes about one month to complete its orbit. Meanwhile, the Earth spins on its axis and rotates around the sun.
Best literacy activity: Moon-themed books for kids
Reading is wonderful for building new space and science vocabulary. Although learning about the moon can be exciting, reading is a calming activity.
Check out the best moon books for kids in Chinese and English.
For multicultural learning, read about moon-related holidays:
Fun interactive Moon phase craft and activity from NASA
Kids can learn about moon phases by rotating their bodies around the room while holding a white moon ball.
Use a flashlight as the sun and a small ball as the moon. Stand in a dark room and observe how the moon’s appearance changes as you move the moon-ball.
Learn more about this interactive moon phase activity at NASA.
Tips for teaching moon phases with crafts and activities
Demonstrate: Whenever possible, first talk and walk through the moon craft or activity before children or students start. This helps kids understand the end goal and the process they must follow.
Encourage creativity: While providing instructions, allow room for creative interpretation. This empowers students to think critically and problem-solve, fostering deeper understanding.
Keep it simple: You don’t have to do every moon craft! Remember that going outside and observing the sky is already an amazing moon science activity. And reading is always wonderful.
Follow the child: Children are naturally excited when they notice how bright the full moon shines on a clear night, how the moon changes shape and sometimes disappears, and how the moon seems to move to different parts of the sky.
When a child is interested, they have better concentration and motivation to learn.
What are your child’s favorite moon phase crafts and activities?
We hope your child or student enjoyed these moon phase activities and crafts! Please share your experience in the comments below.