How to make a cute Big Dipper pillow, that glows in the dark! A fun (and cuddly) craft that helps kids learn about space, stars and constellations.
I’d like to welcome author, engineer, mom Tracy Borgmeyer from She Loves Science to guest post on Go Science Kids today. Tracey is going to share her very awesome DIY glow-in-the-dark Big Dipper Constellation pillow. Thanks Tracy!
Some of my fondest memories of science as a kid were looking into the night sky with my Mom in search of the Big Dipper and another time trying to spot Halley’s Comet with my granddaddy’s old telescope. So it warms my heart when today my 7 year old daughter tells me that when she grows up she wants to be the first person on Mars. As her mom I cringe a little thinking of the long journey and the dangers of space travel, but I also want to help her reach for the stars. So, I decided we would make an easy no-sew pillow with a Big Dipper design to keep her dreaming big dreams while teaching her about my favorite constellation. You can try it too with your science girls!
How to make a Big Dipper Constellation pillow
What you need:
- two 22” X 22” navy scarves
- glow in the dark transfer sheets for dark fabric
- The Big Dipper Pattern (free printable below)
- The Big Dipper Activity sheet (free printable below)
What you do:
- Wash and iron two scarves
- Press the two scarves together and pin if needed
- Measure a 2”border around the top scarf and mark with chalk. This will make a 18”X18” pillow
- Cut 1” slits around the edge of the scarf up to the chalk line
- Cut corner squares and remove
- Print out the stars from The Big Dipper Design printable (page 1) on transfer paper and cut the stars out.
- Print The Big Dipper Activity (page 2) on regular paper and complete to enhance teaching about the Big Dipper
- Flip the top scarf over so the chalk is on the inside of the pillow
- Arrange the stars in The Big Dipper Pattern
- Follow instructions on transfer paper to adhere the stars with an iron
- Tie the top and bottom scarf together by making knots in the 1” slits around the pillow
- Leave a small opening in a corner and stuff the pillow with Poly-fil
- Tie the remaining 1” slits to complete the pillow
This printable is free for personal and small classroom use only. Once you’ve clicked on the link, it should download directly into your downloads folder, and you can print it out from there. It’s designed for US Letter paper. If you’re printing on A4 paper, you will need to tick a box called “Ignore scaling and shrink to fit page width” (or similar) under Page Set Up before printing.
What’s the science?
Long ago people used the stars to navigate their travels. They would connect the stars make shapes to remember their location. These star shapes are known as constellations. The Big Dipper is located in the Great Bear constellation. The North Star, a bright star in the night sky, is centered above the north pole of the earth and is located in the Little Bear constellation.
And this is how the pillow looks with the lights off.
My daughter was so excited when we finished her pillow. She immediately took it to her reading nook no doubt to dream about her future adventures in space!
About the author:
Tracy Borgmeyer is a mom and engineer writing about inspiring our girls to be curious and confident about science. She is the author of She Loves Science which gives readers simple easy ways to try out science in their kitchens and homes. During her science adventures, Tracy decided that kids need a relatable science girl hero. She has recently published Halley Harper; Science Girl Extraordinaire chapter book series because Halley is the hero that she wished she had growing up. You can find the book on Amazon http://www.shelovesscience.com/halleybook.
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