The countdown to August 21’s total solar eclipse is on. And while we can’t take credit for scheduling this once-in-a-lifetime, North American astronomical event, we do have a really cool way to make sure your kids can safely view it. Here’s what you’ll need to construct an eclipse viewer:
- A shoebox with lid
- A small square of foil
- A small square of white paper
- A pin
- A small knife (make sure proper adult supervision/assistance is in place)
How to Make an Eclipse Viewer for the Total Solar Eclipse
Step 1: Cut a one-inch square hole in the lower right corner of the small end of the box. Step 2: Tape foil over the hole. Step 3: Use the pin to poke the center of the foil. Step 4: Tape white paper on the inside of the box, directly across from the foil square. Step 5: Cut a one-inch square hole in the lower right corner of the long side of the box. It should be adjacent to the white paper square. This is your viewing hole.
How to Use Your New Eclipse Viewer
Getting a great view of the total solar eclipse will be easy (pro-tip: you can practice beforehand with a flashlight). Stand with your back to the sun on August 21. Look through the open square hole at the white paper. Focus the sunlight through the foil pin hole, onto the white paper. That’s where you’ll safely see the eclipse in action. Make sure never to look directly at the sun.