Families prepared their children for Monday’s solar eclipse through themed activities Sunday at Baltimore’s Port Discovery Children’s Museum.
Barbara Henschel, community outreach coordinator at the museum, said Port Discovery's events often reflect what’s happening in the world. A popular activity, called “Big Moon, Little Moon,” used beach and tennis balls to show why the moon and sun appear to be the same size during an eclipse.
Five-year-old Noah Minsk visited the Big Moon, Little Moon exhibit Sunday with his father, Jared Minsk, and Renee Ilesanmi.
Ilseanmi, of Laurel, said Noah was taught a little bit about the eclipse in school and knows he needs to keep his glasses on throughout the entire event.
“I’m ready because I have the eclipse glasses, I’m going to wear them while I’m seeing the eclipse,” Noah said. “I’m really excited.”
It’s easy for kids to become scared during an eclipse if they don't have a fundamental grasp of what’s going on, said Daveed Korup, performing arts specialist and resident teaching artist at Port Discovery. He said the activities Sunday aimed to show children there is nothing to be afraid of when day temporarily turns into night.
“It’s not something that’s gonna harm us or cause any difficulties for us,” said Korup, who ran the Big Moon, Little Moon exhibit. “It’s an amazing experience that’s happening in nature, and we should celebrate that.”
Port Discovery will feature similar activities Monday and also host an eclipse watch party near the fountain outside the museum, Henschel said. Kids will have access to viewing goggles provided by NASA, as well as pinhole viewers made from postcards.
Museum staff will distribute pamphlets to parents with tips on how to advise their children to watch the eclipse safely, she said.
Jaden, 11, and Chloe Song, 9, stopped by the Big Moon Little Moon exhibit with their father, Kyu. Kyu said the family, from South Korea, planned to travel to South Carolina Monday in hopes of seeing the total solar eclipse — in which the moon completely blocks out the sun.
He said the activities at Port Discovery would help his children understand what to expect before they see the eclipse in person.
“I learned that on earth we can see the moon can cover the sun,” Jaden Song said. "It’s special,” he added.