My daughter is fascinated with the Moon. While nursery rhymes, the mythical man on the Moon and other stories help her understand the Moon's cultural context, as a scientist, I want to keep the scientific wonder of the Moon alive in her without providing her with boring information. I wanted the nuances of orbits, eclipses and tides to be intuitive, easy to grasp and interesting; not "studied". So I developed this puzzle to make all the concepts intuitive through a hands-on, play oriented tool.
Also, I wanted it to be as scientifically accurate as a wooden toy possibly can.
This Moon phase puzzle grows with your child. First, like any other puzzle, it starts aiding with fine motor skills. After that it becomes unique in the way it guides the child through lunar wonder. The easily recognizable Earth and Moon that looks just like the one outside the window, keep the child connected to the real world. The child's journey starts with just observation and journaling of the different phases of the Moon. Move the Moon one place counter clockwise every day (on the outer circle, representing the Moon cycle) as the Moon travels around the earth and journal (use one of the puzzle pieces to trace) how the Moon looks like on that day. At this point, it will be obvious to the child that the Moon orbits around the earth and that the orbit is elliptical. Use a candle and shadow play to intuitively demonstrate why the Moon is the shape it is at any particular night. As the child explores the puzzle more, she/he will learn about
Phases of the Moon
all by playing with this puzzle. If you want to aid in this exploration, this puzzle comes with the Moon watcher guide, explaining all the concepts and how to use the puzzle to demonstrate these concepts.
Including the outer ring, the puzzle measures 16"x13". Made of walnut and maple. Painted using non-toxic watercolors and finished using Danish oil.
The complete set includes
The Moon phase puzzle, including the Earth
Outer ring representing the Moon cycle
0.75" ball, representing the Moon
and the Moon watcher booklet