As the nights draw in it is the perfect time to look up at the sky and see what happens above our heads. The moon has always fascinated my kids from asking questions like "why is the moon out during the day?" to "how does the moon disappear and appear again?". As they've got older and before we start to explore in more depth I've got them to keep a moon diary for a month so that they can observe what happens and I thought I'd share it with you too. So here you go our FREE printable lunar cycle diary for kids to complete.
The Lunar Cycle
The lunar cycle or moon cycle is the progress that the moon makes from full moon to new moon and back again over around 28-29 days.
Over a month you and your child can observe the moon and see the changes that happen (don't worry if you have a cloudy night there are lots of sites that show the moon each night I'll link one at the end if needed).
Because, each phase of the cycle has a different name we've also included a set of watercolour moon cycle cards for you to use so you can match the moon to it's phase name.
Free Printable Moon Diary
To make this easy to use with your child we've made the moon diary as easy as possible. It includes the following:
- Watercolour phases on the moon cards
- Month printouts with circles to fill in (31, 30, 29 and 28 days)
Instead of giving you just one month plan we've made it super simple for you to print and use.
Just print out the cards and the right month and begin your diary.
Using Moon Cycle Journal
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We decided so that we could replicate the moon cards to print out on watercolour paper.
This is one of my favourite ways to get beautiful printouts and make sure that my kids love to work on the projects by combining art and learning.
Our favourite watercolour paper is this one it's great as it's loose so goes through our printer easily.
We then drew the moon each day over the month matching it with the moon phase card and putting a little x in the dark side of the moon.
Then at the end of the month we sat down and painted our moon journal.
We love using watercolor palettes with the kids and since they were young have provided them with artist quality rather than kids because if they are going to make art they need to have the right resources.
This is the set we've recently bought and it's got a large range of colours making it easier for the kids to get the right shade and tone they want.
We also have a set of good artist quality brushes as well. These are the ones that I brought as it has a range of sizes and shapes perfect for using with projects like these and others.
With the moon journal complete for the month we then moved on to start learning more about the moon.
Reading on Moon Books for Kids
As we started I collected together some books about the moon to share with my kids here's our top 3 that we recommend.
Picture books and stories are a great way to introduce a topic and even though my kids are older they still love these two books about the moon.
Combining these books with non-fiction books we can explore the science as well our 2 favourites are The Usborne Book of the Moon (dedicated to just the moon this is also aimed at younger children) and the DK Smithsonian Space! The Universe as You've Never Seen it Before.
More Moon Activities for Kids
Create some puffy paint moons with craters - you could add sections to them with black paper to show the different phases matched with the phases cards here.
Make your own phases of the moon night lights with this easy craft for kids and you to create.
Code the moon - a fun free printable screen-free coding activity for kids using the phases of the moon.