paint speck constellations

Constellations are groups of stars in the sky. They are often given names based on their shape. Thousands of years ago, people noticed groups of stars and gave them names based on the shapes they seemed to form.

Pegasus the Horse, Orion the Hunter, and Ursa Minor the Little Bear all got their names this way. Often, different cultures gave the groups their own names. What in the UK we call the Plough, the Vikings called the Wagon, the Chinese called the Emperor's Chariot, and the Americans call the Big Dipper.

What you need:

  • Newspaper
  • White paper
  • Paint
  • Paintbrush
  • Pencil

Step 1: Spread some newspaper over the floor or over a table. Place a sheet of white paper in the middle of the newspaper.

Step 2: Dip a paintbrush into paint.

Step 3: Hold the brush over the paper, and tap your hand so small paint specks fall on the paper.

Step 4: These are your stars, and now you can examine them for patterns or shapes you recognise that could be constellations.

Step 5: When the paint has dried, connect the paint specks with a pencil to form shapes you can recognise.

Step 6: Then paint more detailed pictures of the image. Invent names for your constellations.

Paint speck particle patterns

Look at some of the pictures of particle movement we used when making the show.

Using the same paint speck method, draw lines and swirls with pencil or colouring pens connecting your specks and imagining their journeys across the paper and colliding with eachother.