Phases of the Moon Board

This video models how to make a Phases of the Moon board: 

This activity is an interactive demonstration of the phases of the moon. 


  • Cardboard or Foam Board (20 inch x 30 inch)
  • Yellow construction paper
  • Scissors 
  • Box cutter
  • Compass
    • Alternative to a compass: Tie a piece of string to 2 pens or pencils. Use one pen as an anchor and the other pen to trace the shape of a circle.
  • 8 ping pong balls
  • Hot glue gun with glue sticks
  • Tape or glue stick
  • Black marker
  • Labels


  1. Use a compass to draw a circle (larger than your head) in the center of the cardboard. Use a box cutter to cut the circle from the cardboard.
  2. Use scissors to cut a semicircle from the yellow construction paper. This will symbolize the Sun. Line up the flat edge of the semicircle Sun with the short end of the cardboard. Use tape or a glue stick to attach the Sun to the cardboard.
  3. Using a black marker, color half of each ping pong ball.
  4. Create labels for each moon phase: New Moon, Waxing Crescent, 1st Quarter, Waxing Gibbous, Full Moon, Waning Gibbous, 3rd Quarter, Waning Crescent
  5. Attach ping pong balls and labels as shown in the diagram below. Use hot glue to attach ping pong balls and tape or a glue stick to attach the labels.
  6. Have two students hold the board steady while a third student places their head through the opening, facing the Sun. The student inside the board should turn their head/body counterclockwise to view each of the different moon phases.