Counselor and three kids posing covered in mud

Craft Time: Cave Constellations

Cave Constellations

Here at Cave of the Mounds, we have beautiful clear skies, and at night, you can see the many stars above. While looking up at the sky, it is fun to use the imagination to see epic myths that inspired certain constellations or dream of space exploration.

Looking at the night sky can be a time of calm reflection and imagination.

You will need: 6-8 empty tin cans with labels removed, ouchless can opener, aluminum foil, awl/toothpick/large needle, paper, flashlight (with removable lens and reflector form, corrugated cardboard, pencil, painters tape, 2″ masking tape

  1. Start with a tin can. Cut both the top and bottom off with a can opener. Then trace the outside of the can on a piece of corrugated cardboard.
  2. Remove the reflector and lens from the flashlight (they interfere with the projection), then place the flashlight upside down and in the middle of the traced circle, and trace the flashlight as a smaller circle in the center.
  3. Add four small tabs to the circle, equidistant apart from the large circle. Finally, cut out drawing. Place this on top of one side of the tin can and fold the tabs down.
  4. Wrap one piece of masking tape around the can, securing the cardboard tabs down and leaving 1″ of tape above the tin lip. Cut this extra tape into vertical strips and fold down and around the lip of the cardboard one by one creating a seal.
  5. This opening is where you will place the flashlight and the seal will make it easier to ‘screw’ it in when the threads are exposed after you remove the flashlight’s threads.
  6. Cover the other open end with a piece of aluminum foil and tape it down with tape. Poke holes in the aluminum foil either randomly or with a star pattern that you would like to project. (Note: if wanting to project a real constellation, poke the reverse pattern.)
  7. Finally, decorate the outside of the can as you like it so you can tell the difference between the different constellations.
Night Sky