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Full Moon, Last Quarter, New Moon, and First Quarter. These are the four phases of the moon. Do you know them? Which is your favorite? And your son's?
Now you have the opportunity to explain to your child why the different phases of the moon occur and why we always see the same side of the moon. How? With this incredible experiment to explain the lunar phases to children.
To perform this simple experiment, All you need is an orange, a golf ball, a ping pong ball, or a polystyrene ball, and a flashlight. Once you have all these elements, you should do the following:
1. Explain to your child why we always see the same face of the moon in this way: The orange represents the Earth. And the golf ball, the moon. You already know that the Earth revolves around itself and around the sun. And the moon? For the moon, we are its sun. Move the moon (your golf ball) around the Earth (the orange one), so that the moon always shows the same face to the Earth. For your child to see it well, you can mark one of the faces of the ball. Remind him that it takes 28 days for the moon to go around the Earth.
2. New Moon: Once this point is clarified, we go to the following question: Why do we sometimes see it full, and little by little we see it disappear? To explain this, we need the Sun, which in your case will be a flashlight. You already know that the golf ball is the moon and the Orange, the Earth. Place the moon between Earth (orange) and the flashlight. The order should be: Lantern-moon-Earth. In this position, your children will see the dark moon. This is the new moon phase.
3. Crescent: A week later, the moon does reflect some of the sunlight. It is the crescent moon phase. Explain to your child that you will know that it is growing because it is shaped like a 'D'. You can remember it by thinking of a 'developing' moon. In this position, the moon moves one quarter to the left.
4. Full moon: A week later, the moon is behind the Earth, and the sun manages to illuminate its entire surface, well, the surface of the face of the moon that we always see. This is the precious full moon.
5. Last quarter: Another week passes and the moon is on the other side of the Earth. The sun illuminates one of those sides and the moon is increasingly dimmer. It is the last quarter moon. You will recognize it because it is shaped like a 'C'. Explain to your child that when the moon is shaped like a 'C' it is not waxing, but waning.
You can read more articles similar to An incredible experiment to explain the lunar phases to children, in the On-site Learning category.