Phases of the moon

Report Copyright Infringement View in OSM UK View in OSM NZ


Using shoeboxes make a moon box to see the phases of the moon.


Sponge balls (apples, oranges, or similar will suffice)
knitting needle or kebab skewer.


Firstly get a knitting needle and put it into a small sponge ball. The ball represented the moon. Then cut small viewing holes into the side of a shoe box, as well as a large hole to shine a torch through (which represents the sun).
Three view holes go in one side of the box, and one at either end.
Put a hole in the lid to fit the needle, so that the ball is inside. Put the torch to the large hole and close the box.
Go into to a dark room, shine the torch and look through the viewing holes.

You will see different phases of the moon.
1. A new moon through hole 1 (back of ball – hole opposite torch).
2. A full moon through hole 2 (front of ball – hole beside torch).
3. A moon that is mostly light, with a dark crescent (a gibbous moon)
4. A moon that was half dark and half light (called a first quarter or a last quarter).
5. A moon that was mostly dark, with a crescent (called a crescent moon)


  • astronomy
  • Lunar phases
  • moon
  • Moon phases
  • Phases of the moon

Badge Links

This activity doesn't complete any badge requirements