Throwing unique-shaped containers in the recycling bin is hard for me. (I’m always wondering how they can be recycled into kid’s crafts.) Cylindrical oatmeal containers fall into this category.
When I was light on inspiration, I Googled and found this amazing craft on Education.com – a bedroom planetarium! I adapted the instructions slightly; see below.
When my son came home from school and saw the supplies on the table, he was excited. Over and over, he kept asking what we were going to use the flashlight for. (What’s with kids and flashlights?!?! They love ’em!) Here’s the supply list:
- Colored construction paper, paint, crayons and any other art supplies to decorate the oatmeal container
- Double-sided tape or glue
- Exacto craft knife
- Black construction paper
- White crayon or white colored pencil
- Empty oatmeal (cylinder) container with its lid
Before we got started, I explained to my son that we were going to make a projector to shine the constellations on the wall. The last time we learned about stars was ages ago, but his enthusiasm for all things space hasn’t diminished a bit. He was psyched!
What the Adult Does
Cut a large circle in the middle of the plastic oatmeal container lid with the Exacto craft knife. Next, have your child hold the flashlight in the center of the cardboard bottom of the oatmeal container. Trace around it. Use the craft knife again to cut slightly smaller than the circle you’ve drawn; you want the flashlight to fit snugly.
What the Kid Does
Give your child construction paper to decorate in a space scene. First, my son drew planets and stars with colored pencils. Then I had him add a nebula and galaxy with paint. To do this, we added drops of paint to a plastic disposable dessert plate and placed another clean plate over the top, spinning it to swirl the paint together. Then we removed the top plate and pressed the paper into the paint on the bottom plate. Voila! We also used a pencil eraser dotted with glow-in-the-dark paint to make stars. Let dry.
Next, cut circles out of black construction paper to fit snuggly inside the oatmeal container lid. Now use a book of constellations to draw constellations on the black circles. Carefully use a pushpin to make holes wherever there is a star. Write the constellation’s name on the disc.
Now use glue or double-sided tape or glue to adhere your child’s space art to the outside of the oatmeal container. And if you haven't already, insert the flashlight into the hole and place one of the constellation discs inside the lid. Put the lid on the container.
Head into a dark room and flip on the flashlight. Ooh and Ahh! (My son sure did!)