Moonlight, Star Bright

Moonlight, Star Bright


All activities in our Toddling on the Wild Side classes are created with the knowledge that toddlers explore their environment by way of their senses and learn about their world through play. In Moonlight, Star Bright we have created fun activities that will not only give your toddler’s shape senses a workout, but will require you and your toddler to draw upon your creativity and use your imagination! In this session of Toddling, you will visit the moon, introduce your toddler to shapes, star shapes, and gain ideas for enjoying the night sky. Feel free to try some of your child’s favorite activities at home.

Activity: Take a Walk in the Moonlight

Take your tot out after dark. This is easier in the winter as it gets dark a lot earlier. Listen to the quiet. Winter is always a lot more quiet than summer. Can you hear any owls? Barred owls and great horned owls often live near people. If the time and/or weather do not permit for an outdoor nighttime hike, you can also explore the night during the day. Prepare for a “nighttime hike” by darkening a room and hiding some stuffed animals that like to be active at night (nocturnal). Some examples of nocturnal animals include raccoon, skunks, bats, owls, mice, and opossums. For extra atmosphere, hang glow-in-the-dark stars and play nighttime nature music. You can also grab a flashlight to explore.

Alternative: Take a night hike inside. We have set up several sets of tracks to follow. Each track goes to a different animal. Pick one track shape and a flashlight. Follow only this shape of track. When you find the critter hiding, give it a hug. Feel free to spend some time with your new friend, but return the animal and flashlight when you are done so someone else can enjoy the tracking experience. While you are tracking your animal…sing a song:

Walking in the Starlight Song

Walking in the starlight (as you walk)
What do I see? (make binoculars with hands)
I see an owl looking at me (whisper…owls are very quiet)
Whoo, whoo, whoo (pretend to fly silently through the woods)

Walking in the starlight (as you walk)
What do I see? (make binoculars with hands)
I see a bat eating bugs
Swoop, swoop, swoop (pretend to fly quickly catching bugs)

Walking in the starlight (as you walk)
What do I see? (make binoculars with hands)
I see a raccoon looking at me (make binoculars with hands)
I see a skunk looking at me

Walking in the starlight (as you walk)
What do I see? (make binoculars with hands)
I see a frog looking at me.
Ribbit, Ribbit, Ribbit

Walking in the starlight (as you walk)
What do I see? (make binoculars with hands)
I see a cricket looking at me.
Chirp, Chirp, Chirp

Activity: Planet Talk!

Hang up a large poster with all the planets on it. Teach the children the names of them: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and don’t forget the Sun and the Moon!

Activity: On a Clear Night

On a clear night, take your children outside and using binoculars have children look at the moon and stars. Have them watch for shooting stars. In August watch the Perseid meteor shower, make a night of fun, bring books about the moon and stars, red flashlight for reading books in the dark, chairs, food, and blankets. Comets shed debris that becomes most meteor showers. As comets orbit the sun, they shed an icy, dusty debris stream along the comet’s orbit. If Earth travels through this stream, we will see a meteor shower.

Activity: Meteors

Wrap large Styrofoam balls with aluminum foil. Attach long streamers of crepe paper for tails. Use these to play a game of Meteor Catch!

Activity: Hunt for C

Show your tot a circle. Ask your tot to tell you what shape it is. Name the shape for your tot if they don’t know it. Can you find any circles on signs or poster on the walls? Now, do the same with the crescent moon shape. What letter does this shape look like? Can you find the letter “C” on signs or posters?

Activity: Moon Walk

With your tot, crunch up aluminum foil. Help your tot make the foil into a ball shape. Roll your “moon rocks” around the floor, bat them with a spoon, carry them in a bucket or basket—fill and dump. Follow your tot’s lead for play ideas.

Activity: Moon Balls

Pretend that a large beach ball is a “moon ball” (full moon, of course). Play “catch the moon” or “roll the moon.”

Activity: 3-2-1 Blast off!

Tell your child that you and she are going to the moon. Crouch up on the floor into a tight ball. Say “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” When you get to “Blast off!” spring up into the air as high as you can. Your tot will probably want to do this over and over.

Activity: Man on the Moon

Cut magnetic tape into eyes, nose, and mouth shapes. Cut a large circle out of waxed paper and tape onto a cookie sheet. Help your child to make a face on your “moon” with eyes, nose and mouth shapes.

Activity: Moon Craters

Lay out a large sheet of bubble wrap. Walk with your child on the “moon” (bubble wrap). Hop us and down—Pop! Pop! Pop!

Activity: Moon Surface

Cut a six-inch circle from a piece of yellow poster board. Make a paste of water and flour—not too thick or watery. Give your child a handful of paste on the circle. Show them how to use their fingers to make craters, hills and flat moon surfaces.

Activity: Shape Cube

Make a die out of a little box. Small milk cartons work well. Place a different shape on each side of the die. Throw the shape die. Help your tot to name the shape.

Activity: The Secret Shape Stamping

Did you know if you cut an apple in half along the center (not through the stem) there is a secret shape inside? Count the points on the star. Ask your tot to identify the shape. Make art prints by pressing the apple into paint or a stamp pad, then press on paper.

Activity: Box Planetarium

Take a large box, turn it over and poke holes in the bottom. These holes will act as stars. Pattern your hole in the shape of the big dipper or other constellation (or make stars randomly). Next shine a light onto the box and darken the room. Once holes are poked, slip underneath the box, with your toddler, so that you are both inside. Lay with your tot inside the box and “gaze” up at the stars.

Activity: Hunt for 5

Ask your tot to count the points on a star. Name the shape for your tot if they don’t know it. Can you find any stars on signs or poster on the walls? Can you find 5 lights in the room, 5 rugs, 5 pencils, and the number 5 on signs? How many steps are there? How many doorways? Count, count, count!

Activity: Sunshine Plates

The sun is a star too! Tear up yellow construction paper into small pieces. Glue on paper plates to make a sun.

Activity: Star Wands

Stars at night have a magical quality! Create a “magic” wand for your child by wrapping aluminum foil around a cardboard star. Attach your star with tape to a paper towel tube or a long, straight straw. Have your toddler float around the room with their magic wand. Play soft music and pretend you are fairies or twinkling stars in the night sky.

Activity: Star Printing

Dip a star shaped cookie cutter into some paint. Then stamp on the paper, making star designs.

Activity: Where are the stars?

Draw stars with white crayons, then using watercolors, brush over the paper. Magic, the stars will appear!

Activity: Find the Oddball

Ask your child to point to the shape that is not like a star…sing “One of these shapes is not like the other, one of these shapes just isn’t the same, one of these shapes just doesn’t belong here, now it is time to play our game, time to play our game.” Inspired by Sesame Street.

Activity: Be a Star

Design your own refrigerator magnet star! Using a pre-cut star shape out of foam, have the children decorate the star using: glitter, crayons, pens, colored pencils, markers, paint, lace, string, yarn, ribbon etc. Attach a magnet on the back and place on a refrigerator.

Activity: Create a Constellation

Have the children place star stickers on a piece of black paper. Have the children connect the stars with a white crayon.

Activity: Match the Stars

There are many ways to set this up depending on the skill level or the particular skill you wish to work on. Try these different set ups: cut the star shapes from one color of paper. Place matching stickers on two stars. Give each child one star and have them find the child with their match Cut the star shapes form one color of paper. Label one set of stars with numbers, i.e. if you have 20 children, label the stars with the numbers one to ten. The other half, draw one dot on one, two on another, and so on until ten. Give each child one star and have them find the child with their match.


Serve star crackers and using a star cookie cutter make star-shaped cheese. Serve with Juice.

Mini Moons:
On wax paper sheets, place a mini rice cake. Spread with cream cheese, place raisins to make a man-in-the-moon.

Will You Read to Me?

Take time to enjoy a story.
The Big Dipper by Franklyn M. Branley
Stars, Moon, and Clouds by Eugene Bradley Coco
Night Lights by Stacey Schuett
I am a Star by Jean Marzollo

Activities provided by:

E Resources Group
2550 Stagecoach Road
Webster City, Iowa 50595-7375
Toddling on the Wild Side was supported by REAP-CEP.

_ 0-1
✓ 1-2
✓ 2-3
_ 3-4
_ 4-5
_ 5-6

Category: Adult-Child

30 minutes


Iowa Early Learning Standards:
1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 3.3, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4, 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 7.3

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