Star gazing is one of my favorite things to do. As a kid, my brothers and I would lay on a blanket in our backyard and stare at the sky with our books just finding constellations, spotting shooting stars, and looking for meteors. We would even set up my brother’s telescope and use our moon map to find and identify all the major craters on the moon. This love for astronomy has helped me share it with my girls. I have decided to create this constellation scavenger hunt for my girls and my entire TWM Tribe so that way it is a fun learning experience. Let me tell you more about this scavenger hunt and how it works.
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ABOUT THE STAR GAZING CONSTELLATION SCAVENGER HUNT
The Star Gazing Constellation Activity is geared towards children of all ages. It has a total of 19 constellations for you and your kids to find in the night sky. Please keep in mind that this is a mix of different constellations so some of them are very easy to find while others are a little more challenging. The books below will help you learn how to find these constellations and also learn more about each one of them.
To make the most of the Constellation Scavenger Hunt, I highly recommend a few books that will go hand in hand with this activity. These books will help guide you through the night sky from constellation to constellation. I will also teach you about the stars, constellations, planets, our moon and our entire Milky Way galaxy. Here are the books we love to use.
The best way to learn how to find constellations in the sky is by using the Star Finder by Dr. Maggie Aderin-Pocock. This book has greatly helped us learn the night sky. It has maps of the all the main constellations in the sky. It has four different routes guiding you from one constellation to the next. The first route starts at the Big Dipper and ends at Leo. The second route starts at Orion, my favorite constellation, and end at Pleiades. The third route starts at Cassiopeia and ends at Aries. And the fourth route starts at Cygnus and ends at Serpens Caput. This Star Finder book is by far my favorite book to learn how to find constellations in the night sky.
The other book that I used since I was little was the Stars and Planets by Ian Ridpath. I love this book because it doesn’t just teach you about the constellations but also gives you a visual guide to the night sky from around the world. This is perfect for anyone living on other parts of the world. It also teaches you the phases of the planets and even the moon along with other valuable information about our solar system.
Growing up, my brothers and I used two pocket guides which I still have till this day and use. These pocket guides are perfect for identifying constellations, planets, moons, and a quick guide into the night sky through various star maps. Here are the two I love and recommend.
This pocket guide is called Astronomy by Jay M. Pasachoff. I love this pocket guide because it has excellent visual maps of the sky on both northern and southern hemispheres (pictured above). These maps are also separated by months going from January all the way through December. That’s 24 visual maps that you can use all throughout the year on any hemisphere.
Note: Though this pocket guide still shows Pluto as a planet please note that it is now considered a Dwarf planet. A dwarf planet is a planet that enters our solar system and also leaves our solar system because of it’s unusual orbit.
This pocket guide is called National Audubon Society Pocket Guide – Constellations by Dr. Gary Mechler, Dr. Mark Chartrand and Wil Tirion. Or you can just call it Constellations. Much easier! This pocket guide has visual maps as well which is very useful but instead of them being a picture of the night sky every month it is every 3 months. It does break down the sky view to Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. This book is specific for constellations so it goes into more details about each one of the constellations mentioned in this book. It covers a total of 53 constellations in our night sky.
HOW TO PREP YOUR CONSTELLATION SCAVENGER HUNT
The best way to make use of your product is by preparing it so it can withstand the possible environments that you will be in. What I like to do with all of our scavenger hunts and activities is:
- Print them out on cardstock paper. This is the printer that I use and love.
- Laminate them. I use this laminator and these laminating sheets. I would laminate page 3 by itself and page 4 and 5 together for a front and back. This way you have two different scavenger hunts. Page 3 will be a list of the constellations which will be a little harder to do. This one is perfect for when you already know what they look like and where to find them in the night sky. Pages 4 and 5 have the photos of the constellations along with the names for visual. I would recommend using some of the books listed above to help guide you to finding these if you aren’t too experienced and also for visual purposes for your kids.
- Put them in a dry erase pocket for your kids to write on it with dry erase markers.
- Go out and explore the night sky and have a good time!
You can view our Amazon Storefront under TWM Tribe for a full list of materials that we like to use for all of our Resource Library activities. You will even find some other books and even cards that will go perfect with this specific activity.
HOW TO USE YOUR CONSTELLATION SCAVENGER HUNT
Using your FREE Constellation Scavenger Hunt is very easy. After you have prepper it and placed them inside the pockets you can go outside and start finding the constellations. We like to lay down a blanket to lay on and bring out our scavenger hunts, dry erase markers, and books. Sometimes we will have a delicious cup of hot cocoa if the weather is nice and cool and let them put marshmallows in it and a tad bit of chocolate syrup on top to make it more fun.
As you find each one of the constellations you can either circle it or check it off on the pages. You can make it even more fun by racing to see who finds the most or who finds a new one that is not on the scavenger hunt.
GRAB YOUR FREE CONSTELLATION SCAVENGER HUNT HERE!
Our Star Gazing Constellation Activity is up for grabs in our Resource Library. This library is set up for TWM Tribe Members only. Don’t worry you don’t have to pay anything to become a member. All you have to do is subscribe here by entering your name and email and you will receive an email to your inbox with the link and password to access our library. Once you have access you will be able to print this Constellation Scavenger Hunt along with other printables, activities, planners, packing guides, and much more. Every month you will receive access to at least one or two new items like this one that will be added to our Resource Library.
Want to see more activities and guides for kids? Check these out:
- Camping Scavenger Hunt for Kids
- Tips for Entertaining Kids During Camping Trips
- Baby Hiking Essentials (only for babies – 2 years of age and under)
- Healthy Snacks for Kids On The Go
- Must Haves When Hiking With Kids (for toddler age and up)
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What is the coolest thing you have ever seen in the night sky? I would love to hear your stories. Let me know in the comments below.