“This is an unbelievable event and you never know how it will inspire an excitement for science and astronomy in people of all ages,” says Suzie Dills, an astronomer from Avon Lake and director of Hoover Price Planetarium in Canton.

“You can be recording temperature as we get closer to totality, listening to what the birds are doing, what sounds you hear,” Dills says.

Beforehand, prepare an easy pinhole projector to safely view the eclipse through a makeshift camera obscura with materials you likely have on hand. Follow the how-to instructions (below) by Amy Breslin at Lorain County Public Library.

“Because we are in the path of totality, we are going to see the sun’s full corona, and what we want is for parents and caregivers at home to continue that conversation with their young ones about what they might have observed and develop the language to talk about some of those scientific concepts,” says Breslin, outreach and community engagement librarian.

Pinhole Projector Activity

Observe the moon’s movement in front of the sun and the eclipse reaching totality with a make-at-home pinhole camera. All you need is a box — shoe, cereal, any small box will do, Breslin says. Just be sure it has a lid or flap.

Step 1: Gather white paper. Glue or tape a sheet of paper inside one end of the box. “This allows for some level of reflection because white absorbs light,” she explains.

Step 2: On the opposite end, cut a small pinhole. Over the opening, tape or glue a piece of foil. Punch another pinhole through the foil so you can peek inside the box and see the white paper.

Step 3: Off to the side of the pinhole, cut a square viewing port — just big enough to look inside without allowing too much light to leak into the box.

Step 4: “As the sunlight enters the pinhole, a solar image will appear on the white sheet of paper. As the moon passes in front of the sun, you can look through the view port and see the sun’s shape, which should look very similar to the stages of the eclipse as we reach totality,” Breslin says. 

Step 5: Test it first by using a flashlight to simulate the sun.

Eclipse Chalk Art


Cardstock or thin cardboard, black construction paper, chalk, scissors, pencil, round object for tracing.

Optional: Tissues


Step 1: Trace and cut out a cardstock or thin cardboard circle, about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.

Step 2: Color the circle heavily with chalk. Make thick lines with lots of chalk. If available, use multiple colors such as white, yellow and orange.

Step 3: Place the circle in the center of the black paper, chalk side up.

Step 4: With your fingers or a tissue, smudge the chalk from the circle outward on the black paper to create rays all around the sun. Add more chalk if needed. (Hint: Help your child by holding the circle in place so it doesn’t move around.)

Step 5: Remove the circle to reveal the solar eclipse!