We are diving further into our exploration of the solar system. I gave both of the kids (5 years old and 1-year-old) a demonstration on how craters are formed on the moon using only materials we had at home. I love that we could create such simple moon activities that both of the kids could participate in (rarely happens)!
Here’s what we did to learn all about the surface of the moon! Also, don’t forget to read all the way through this post to get your own free set of Phases of the Moon Cards!
Moon Activities: How Do Craters Form?
Why: The moon‘s surface is filled with craters. They come from meteors or asteroids crashing onto the surface of the moon. The moon has no atmosphere. This means there is no wind, weather or plants. When an asteroid hits the moon, there is nothing to remove the mark that is has left. This is why we can see the impact of so many asteroids and meteors on the moon (and not on Earth!).
We can demonstrate this effect with flour and some marbles. By dropping the marbles into a pan of flour, and then carefully removing them, we can see how depending on the size and force with which we drop the marble, the impact will vary. Dust from the flour will also spread out.
Related: You’ll also love our Planets Up Close Cards
What you need for your Moon Crater Demonstration
- A tray
- Optional: Solar System 3 Part Cards
How to Present Your Moon Activities
I prefer to use a simple set up. However, keep in mind this activity can make a mess, so if you can, you may want to consider doing this outside or putting down a tarp.
Before we actually worked on this demonstration, we discussed the moon in depth. We studied the phases of the moon. Yvann also noticed that the moon had dark spots and different holes all over. This is why I chose to set up this work again to show him how the “holes” (craters) on the moon are formed.
We gathered the materials. I asked Y to throw the different sized marbles from different heights. This created different types of impact.
Even N (1-year-old) eagerly joined in!
After the demonstration
I asked Y what he observed and pointed out several things. We discussed:
- How the flour splattered
- The depth of the craters
- How big some were
Both kids had a blast exploring and learning at their own levels. Y (5 years old) really absorbed the experiment and was fascinated by it. N (1 year old) was more interested in the sensory aspect of it and had a blast just exploring the flour and marbles (with my supervision).
I also got out a few cards from our Space 3 Part Cards set to show the kids realistic photos of the moon and an asteroid.
Eventually. my son realized this looks a lot like a writing tray and started practicing making the word “moon”. He ran out of space and it became “moo”. Close enough, right? He thought it was pretty funny!
I do have to warn you – if you get your toddler involved, you run the risk of this happening –
At first, the kids are cooperating and exploring the work. But then…
Luckily, Mama kept her calm and we turned this into a practical life activity.
We have two swiffers so both kids even got a chance to mop after they swept! I normally have a bit of anxiety about messy activities, so I really had to fight myself to let them do this. I was so happy I did because of the cooperation and the cleaning up that happened afterward – win for everyone!
Get Your Phases of the Moon Printables
Grab your Phases of the Moon Cards in English here
Grab your Phases of the Moon Cards in Russian here