4M Create a Night Sky Projection Kit Key Features
Size: 6.75 x 2.5 x 8.5 inches
Lamp type: LED
Sleep Timer: No
Projection surface: not specified
We discussed the best binoculars for kids earlier and highlighted the benefits of making kids feel independent and learning about the stars and planets, but what if it’s a cold, cloudy night, or if it’s not practical to keep your kids up after they go to bed to look at the night sky?
This kit offers hands-on science education from the comfort of your couch (or workbench). The Create a Night Sky Projection Kit (sold in the UK as the Create a Night Sky Science Museum and elsewhere as the 4M Night Sky Projection Kit) is on our list of the best star projectors and is the only homemade projector on our list. list.
It was created by 4M KidzLabs, which makes “creative educational toys” to stimulate and arouse curiosity in young children. They have a variety of DIY kits aimed at encouraging learning and expanding your child’s horizons, other kits include building your own planetarium. (will open in a new tab) and make your rocket launcher (will open in a new tab).
A set for creating a projection of the night sky. Ultimately, it’s a printout on some cardboard cutouts, you punch holes in it to make constellations, assemble a globe, and place it over a light source to form a projection. To be honest, we weren’t thrilled to try this, and some of the other online reviews are scathing, but did we change our minds by making one for ourselves?
Today’s Best Kidzlabs Create A Night Sky Projection Kit Deals
Building a Night Sky Projection Kit: Design
- Made from cardboard
- Inconvenient to assemble
- will quickly look messy
(Image credit: Aunt Walter)
This is a simple idea for an educational time filler. You get two cardboard cutouts with the northern hemisphere on one and the southern hemisphere on the other.
There is a small plastic stand supported by four small “legs” that hold the bulb. Here is the finished “globe”. We would have preferred a more stable stand, perhaps a wooden one would have been better and looked better.
The included cardboard that creates the dome is nothing more than what your cereal is packaged in, it’s not corrugated or reinforced in any way, although you get adhesive tape to hold it together, more on that later.
You create a dome to sit over a light bulb by following the step by step detailed guide provided for punching holes in cardboard (to make the light shine and display the constellations) and then assemble it using the origami technique, again following the guide.
Build a Night Sky Projection Kit: Productivity
- Nice time filler and fun project to make
- Uncomfortable side for small hands
- Supervision/assistance required if building with children
(Image credit: Aunt Walter)
We followed the step-by-step guide word by word to make sure we didn’t cut corners or miss anything.
The first step is to pierce the printed stars with something sharp. As the manual says, it’s best to start small and then widen the holes as needed. We put the imprint on the box the kit came in, as we were told in the manual, and started punching through the cardboard with a thin pen.
Some of the stars are pretty close together, so we accidentally poked through some of the cardboard where we shouldn’t have. Once we’ve finished punching through all the constellations, it’s time to assemble it into a ball shape. It is not comfortable. Especially if, like us, you have little patience when it comes to arts and crafts.
Once you have something that looks like a dome shape with all the little protrusions in their dedicated slots, you can stick the included adhesive tape inside the dome to add strength to the structure. It would be wise to add a few more of your own.
Here you choose which hemisphere you want to place on the top of the globe and fix it in the “lid” and the bottom of the globe (the other hemisphere), leaving one hole open where the bulb will sit. Again, painstakingly, doable with patience, but painstakingly nonetheless.
Build a Night Sky Projection Kit: Functionality
- Constellations printed backwards
- Requires 4 AA batteries (not included)
- Additional “bits” required
(Image credit: Aunt Walter)
It’s worth emphasizing that since the idea is that the “stars” will be projected onto the wall or ceiling, the actual print your child will punch holes in mirrors what you’ll see in the actual night sky, so all the constellations are retarded. This can be detrimental to learning, but as long as the “helper” (which is definitely needed) explains it, we can review it. It’s also a pretty handy way to demonstrate how projections work.
You need additional parts to get started and complete the globe. Namely, extra tape (since the small amount provided is not enough and it could be more sticky), a pointed object for punching holes in the cardboard, a thin pen, or a thin, sharp nail would be best. You also need to provide 4 AA batteries for the bulb, as well as a screwdriver to install these batteries.
Is it worth buying a night sky projection kit?
If the price is right, then why not? We think anything over $15 is pushing it. We saw it on Amazon for $32 and we’re not sure what makes it fluctuate so much and would certainly be disappointed if we paid a higher price.
It is an educational tool for young children, but only if an adult “trains” it along with compiling it.
If possible, buy the Sega Homestar Flux for a stronger, more durable and versatile science learning experience. It can be used for years, it has tons of interchangeable discs to learn from, and there are no complicated crafts to put it all together!