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Have you noticed that the moon looks different over the course of the month? Follow along with this fun activity to help you remember the different phases of the moon!

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Jessi: Have you ever noticed that the moon looks different every night?Sometimes, it’s just a little sliver of light in the sky. And sometimes, it’s a big, bright, full moon, with lots of stages in between.

Over the course of a month, the lit-up part of the moon gets bigger and bigger, until it becomes a full moon. Then, the bright part gets smaller and smaller, until it’s all dark again. The different ways that the moon can look are called phases. If you watched our video about the moon’s phases, now you know why the moon changes. But do you want to know a fun way to remember what all eight phases of the moon look like?

You can use what you’ve learned to make a game, one that turns the moon.. into a puzzle! To make this game, you’ll need 4 pieces of white construction paper and 4 pieces of black construction paper. You should also get a marker, scissors, and a grownup to help with the cutting.

Now you have everything you need to make your puzzle! Remember how there are eight phases of the moon? You can use these eight pieces of paper to show what those phases look like. All you have to do is cut out four light circles and four dark circles, and then arrange those circles so they make the eight phases of the moon! The first step is to cut out the circles.

To help you cut the circles, you can draw one on your construction paper so you know where to cut. That’s what I’m gonna do. I'm gonna use this lid to help me draw a perfect circle.

Now that all the circles are cut out, it’s time to start making the different moons! Let’s start with the new moon. That’s when the moon looks totally dark, so you can put aside one whole dark circles.

Remember what comes after the new moon? If you said crescent, you’re right! That’s when just a sliver of the moon is lit-up on the right-hand side, and the rest of it looks dark. So you’ll need two pieces to make this moon — a light one and a dark one.

First, take a light circle and cut out a sliver. Now you just need to cut out the shape of the dark part of the crescent moon. To do that, take a dark circle and cut out another sliver.

If you put together the small part of the light circle on the right side, with the big part of the dark circle on the left side, you can make a crescent moon! Next comes the quarter moon. To make that, just cut a dark circle down the middle and a light circle down the middle.

Take one piece of the light circle and one piece of the dark circle and put them together with the lighter piece on the right side. Now you have a quarter moon! Next comes the gibbous moon.

That’s when the moon is mostly lit-up, except for a sliver of dark. It’s like the opposite of a crescent moon! And to make the gibbous moon, you can just use the pieces from when you cut out the crescent moon!

There was an almost-full light circle and a sliver of dark circle left over. If you put the light circle on the right side and the dark sliver on the left, you’ll make a gibbous moon. Next comes the full moon.

That’s easy — all we need is a full, light circle. Do you remember what comes next? Now that the lit-up part of the moon is done growing, it starts to get smaller again.

So the next phase is another gibbous moon, but this time the dark sliver is on the right side. To make this gibbous moon, you can cut a sliver out of a light circle and a sliver out of a dark circle. Then, put the bigger part of the light circle on the left side of the smaller part of the dark circle to make a gibbous moon.

Almost done! Next comes another quarter moon, and you already have the pieces for that! Just take the half of a dark circle and half of a light circle left over from the first quarter moon you made.

But this time, put the dark part on the right side and the light part on the left side. The last phase of the moon is another crescent — and again, you already have the pieces to make it! Just take the sliver of light circle and almost full dark circle you have left and put them together, with the light sliver on the left.

And that’s it! You’ve made all the phases of the moon. But this is more than just a cool project to show the different ways the moon can look — you’ve also created a puzzle game!

To play the game, all you have to do is mix up the pieces and put them back together in the right order. Starting with the new moon, pick out the pieces of paper to make each phase! And you’re an expert at that now!

So go ahead — try mixing up the pieces and solving the puzzle you made! We’d like to give a big thank you to Google Making Science for helping us make this episode, and thank you all for joining us! If you make this puzzle, we’d love to see it!

Grab a grownup and send us an email at And if you have a question that you want us to answer, have them help you leave a comment down below. We'll see you next time here at the fort!