A partial or total eclipse occurs when the moon moves between the sun and Earth. As a result, the moon casts a shadow on the Earth that’s visible to the naked eye. Looking directly at the eclipse, however, can lead to vision damage. Explore the top 7 proactive ways to keep kids safe when viewing the upcoming eclipse.
1. Discuss the Sun’s Strength Beforehand
Sun safety begins with education. First, discuss the facts regarding eclipses to the kids. Next, focus on why the sun is so bright and damaging to the human eye. By covering these facts before the eclipse even occurs, kids can internalize this information. They’ll know about the sun’s damaging rays, which helps them seek out other ways to watch the event.
Without a doubt, the kids will need reminders immediately before and during the eclipse about eye safety. However, understanding why they must keep their eyes off the sun is the primary way kids will stay safe.
2. Create an Eclipse Craft
Use the power of arts and crafts to protect kids during the viewing of an eclipse. A pinhole camera or camera obscura is a box craft that provides a shadow view of the celestial event, reports the CBC.
Essentially, a pinhole camera consists of a cardboard box, such as a shoebox or cereal box, and a tiny hole cut into one side. As the eclipse occurs, sunlight enters this pinhole. Children look into the box at the light reflection inside. As a result, they’ll see the eclipse in real time without actually looking at the sun.
3. Stock up on Eclipse Glasses
One of the safest ways to view an eclipse is with eclipse glasses. These specialized glasses are made from darkened lenses. As long as the children keep the glasses on during the event, they can look straight at the eclipse. Remarkably, the lenses cut down on the sunlight’s strength for a crisp look at the eclipse’s crescent.
4. Focus on Dwindling Light
Stay safe during the eclipse by observing the light differences. Because the moon blocks the sun for a few minutes, it will get darker and colder. Ask the kids to observe this phenomenon because it reflects the importance of the sun as an energy source.
5. Provide Additional Supervision
With all the preparation completed, adults may want to take another proactive step for safety’s sake. Ask other adults near the viewing area for their help. As a result, they can supervise the kids during the event so that everyone avoids looking directly at the sun.
6. Use Nature’s Light Filtration
If you can’t make a pinhole camera, let nature do the work for you. Initially, look for a leafy tree near your viewing area. For example, maple or oak trees have large enough leaves for this experiment. With your back turned toward the eclipse, hold up the leaf so that it catches the incoming light. The result is numerous eclipses scattered on the ground. In short, the leaf’s tiny gaps allow light to fragment and produce eclipse images on the ground for all to see, suggests the Washington Post.
7. Listen for Nature’s Prompts
Strange things occur during an eclipse, including nature’s response. Give kids another reason to anticipate an eclipse by asking them to use their ears. During the eclipse, local animals will respond to the radical change in lighting and temperature. For example, kids might hear all the birds suddenly quiet down as it darkens. Other animals, such as dogs or cats, might bark, hide, or howl. These observations are unique to eclipses, which provide another safe way to experience the event.
By using one or several of these suggestions, kids can remember this experience with no ill effects. In the end, it’s the adults who can create a positive atmosphere and educate everyone simultaneously. Eclipses are special events that deserve recognition as you encourage learning in today’s youngsters.