When the visible part of the moon is on the right, is the moon waxing or waning? When can you find the young moon in the sky? If you see a crescent moon in the west, is it rising or setting? Why isn’t the quarter moon called a half moon? If you can answer these questions, you probably know more than most about the moon.
I’ve made this moon cycle tracker for you and your child to keep track of the phases of the moon. Print it out and hang it up where your child can turn the moon phase wheel each day. Before I made this, I always thought that there were 28 days from one moon cycle to another. Although it takes 28 days (27 1/2 to be exact) for the moon to orbit the earth, there are actually 29 1/2 days between cycles. This is because the earth has moved in its position to the sun.
Here are some moon facts you might want to talk about.
Interesting Facts and Tips
Is the moon waxing or waning? I’ve seen a lot of different rhymes to help out with this one. My favorite is, “When the Moon is on the right, it gets bigger every night.” I’ve heard it’s the opposite in southern hemisphere. You can modify the rhyme if you live south of the equator.
The moon rises in the east and sets in the west just like the sun. If you remember this simple fact, you will know that the crescent moon you are seeing in the west is setting.
You can see a waxing crescent (the young moon) right after the sun sets. It’s actually following the setting sun.
You can see a waning crescent (a disappearing moon) right before the sun rises.
For more answers to your moon questions, you might want to check out this post I found on Moon FAQ.
Compare the size of the full moon to a quarter. Go outside just as the full moon is rising. Hold a quarter up to the moon and see how it compares in size. Do this activity again an hour or two later. Does the moon seem smaller?
Make moon phases using Oreo cookies. For a fun Oreo cookie moon activity that I’m sure your child would, love see here: Phases of the Moon and Ways to Teach Them.