Make Star Stories

  • Children icon Age: 0 to 8+
  • Clock icon Time: 1 hour+
  • Leaf icon Materials: Dark fabric or paper; water; any of the following: sidewalk chalk, cornstarch, white shaving cream
The night sky is not only full of bright stars, it is full of stories. This week at Tinkergarten Anywhere, we learn about some constellation stories told by people across the world and throughout history. Then, we'll invite kids to use a variety of sensory-stimulating materials to turn ordinary cloth into a beautiful night sky that is full of their own stories.

The Guide

Step 1: Gather materials:

  • Dark fabric or paper
  • Water
  • Any of the following: sidewalk chalk, cornstarch, white shaving cream
  • (optional) Printable Star Story Card

Step 2: Watch the Tinkergarten Anywhere Space Camp video lesson.

Hop into your My Tinkergarten trial dashboard to watch the Space Camp video lesson. Kids can watch how Meghan and other explorers create a starry night sky, then get inspired to create a night sky full of their own stories!

Not yet enrolled in Tinkergarten Anywhere? Join now or try a free trial here.

Step 3: Discover the constellations in your night sky.

Apps like SkyView, Star Tracker and Star Walk enable you to see and identify the constellations in your night sky just by pointing your phone in different directions. These apps work just as well in daylight as in the night, making them a great way to explore the stars without interfering with bedtime.

Step 4: Learn about constellation stories.

Show kids this downloadable card with an image of the seven stars often referred to as the Big Dipper. Read some of the included stories that have been told about these seven stars by people throughout history and across cultures. Invite kids to share what pictures they see. 
You can also read books together to learn the stories of constellations throughout history and across cultures. Here are some of our favorites: 

Step 5: Create your own night sky.

Show kids your dark fabric or paper and ask, “Do you think we could make our own night sky to tell our own stories?” Model a few ways to use to the materials to make marks on the fabric. For example:
  • Make dots, marks or circles with dry sidewalk chalk. Dip your chalk in water to make even more vibrant marks.
  • Use fingers or a stick to make marks with shaving cream or cornstarch.
  • Make chalk paint by crushing chalk with a stick in a bucket and adding water.

Step 6: Tell Star Stories!

As they create their night sky, invite kids to share what they notice. Do they see any pictures? Welcome kids to use chalk or other materials to “connect the dots” to create their own constellations. Can kids tell a story about the pictures that they see?

Want more ideas? Try out some of these space-themed activities:

Why is this activity great for kids?

Reading, writing and telling stories are wonderful ways we communicate ideas, understanding, culture and values. Across the world and throughout history, people have told stories about the stars in the night sky and in this activity, we give kids a chance to learn about those stories and to create stories of their own. This activity also gives kids a chance to explore mark-making with a variety of sensory materials—wonderful practice in creative expression and communication.

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