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Moons and Rings: Our Favorite Things
Organizations & Clubs

These recommendations are tailored for organizations and clubs such as libraries, planetariums, science centers, astronomy clubs, and scout troops.

The Moon is a natural topic for children's informal activities; it is a source of curiosity and wonder, and it is visible from any part of the Earth. Children are also fascinated by Saturn's beautiful rings and are often surprised to learn that Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune also have rings, although they are much darker and thinner.

Take advantage of this interest and of the annual observing event, International Observe the Moon Night, and work with your local astronomical society to plan your observing session! You also can find eager and willing local speakers by contacting planetariums, and museums, local scientists (astronomy and geology departments at nearby universities are a good place to start), and NASA's Solar System Ambassadors -- ask them to join your events and share their experiences or resources with the children.

Be sure to submit photographs, artwork, music, or words of students enjoying activities to Share Your Stories.

Activity Description
Oreo Moon Phases Children model the order and appearance of the phases of the Moon using cookies and frosting.
The Scoop on Moon Dirt Children compare how soil forms on Earth and the Moon. They examine different soil samples and compare them to lunar "soil" simulant. They explore how water, wind, and impactors help to make soil.
Recipe for a Moon Children discover that the Moon, like Earth, is made up of layers of different materials, as they work in teams to make edible models of the interiors of the Moon and Earth. Common food items are used to construct the cores, mantles, and crusts of both planetary objects.
Mission Moon Children work in teams to assess environmental conditions, resources, and scientific relevance of different locations on the Moon using data collected from previous lunar missions. Each team selects the site they believe has the best potential for a future lunar outpost. The teams debate their conclusions and work together to determine which single site to recommend to NASA.
Paper Plate Education: Saturn's Rings In this simple modeling activity, children model the changing angle at which we see Saturn and its rings, to understand why the rings occasionally disappear from view.
Explore Marvel Moon This suite of activities, developed for the informal learning environment, investigates the formation, evolution and characteristics of our nearest neighbor, and imagines Earth without a Moon.
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Last Updated: 12 Sep 2014