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When it comes to constellation memorization, nothing beats a night out under the stars. But have you ever been lost looking for familiar star formations in the night sky? It can be tricky!

Here’s a shortcut for teaching the whole family to quickly recognize constellations: start indoors first.

Here’s what you need:

  • cardboard discs
  • a pencil
  • a hole punch
  • a flashlight or a lamp with the shade off
  • a dark room

Now just follow the examples below, and you’ll be seeing stars in no time!

Directions

Trace and cut out a circle on a piece of poster board.

Trace

Draw a simple constellation. We chose the Big Dipper (Ursa Major).

Drawing Constellation

Leave spaces between each line to dot with a marker.

Drawing Dots on Constellation

These dots are your star formation.

Drawing Dots on Constellation

Now, poke out the dots with a hole punch or sharp object.

Poke out Dots

Find a dark room in the house and shine your flashlight against the disc to create a constellation on your wall.

Shine Flashlight on Wall

Experiment with the distance between the lamp, the disc, and the wall to get your best constellation shadow!

Whole Punch Post Board

Other easy constellations are Orion (the hunter), Leo (lion), Pisces (fish), and Canis Major (dog).