The Northern Lights are a beautiful natural light display in the polar regions. While children might not understand all of the scientific aspects of the Northern Lights, they can appreciate the colors the lights create. Spending time talking about the Northern Lights and creating crafts that focus on streaks of colors will engage students. These crafts can be modified for different ages and ability levels.
Swirled Water Bottle
Children can use recycled water or soda bottles to create a swirled color effect similar to the Northern Lights. Fill a plastic bottle two-thirds full with light corn syrup. Use a funnel to add glitter or confetti to the bottle. Allow students to choose their colors. If they’d like to create more color, they can add a few drops of food coloring to the liquid. Northern Lights often have shades of pink, blue or green. Fill the rest of the bottle with water, and put the cap on it. To prevent spills and messes later, secure the bottle top with a hot glue gun. Ask students to shake the bottle to create a colorful, swirled effect, much like the Northern Lights.
Crayon Color Melts
Students can use wax paper and crayons to create colored swirls that they can hang in a window later. Northern Lights often look like streaks of color, so ask students to look at a picture of the Northern Lights and draw streaks of color with a crayon on wax paper. Tell them to keep the streaks fairly large, as they will be coloring them in. Also, students only need a few streaks to make the project work well. After they draw streaks, have them use pencil sharpeners to make crayon shavings. Most likely, they’ll go through a few crayons to get enough shavings. Have students put the shavings in the outline of the streaks they made. Cover the entire project with another piece of wax paper. Use an iron to press the two pieces of wax paper together. Iron until the crayon shavings are melted. Once the project is dry, students can punch a hole punch at the top and hang it with string near a window to let the colors catch the light.
Northern Lights Tissue Frames
Let children use scraps of tissue to hang colors that represent the Northern Lights. Give each student a foam picture frame. This will act as an outline for their tissue paper. Have students look at a picture of the Northern Lights and cut out strips of colored tissue paper to glue to the back of the foam picture frame. Once the entire frame is covered with different streaks of colored tissue paper, cut off any outlying tissue. Allow students to hang their Northern Lights tissue models where they choose.
Katie Tonarely started writing professionally in 2008. Her work appears in the Springfield "News-Leader" and she provides consumer-related content for various websites. Tonarely received a Bachelor of Arts in English education with a minor in journalism from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.