by Meghan Fitzgerald
When the moon is full, it’s a monthly invitation to slow down, look up and really connect to the wonder of that glowing rock in space.
I’ve always loved the moon and felt drawn to it. Its soft, steady light—both mysterious and calming. Somehow it is always there, even though it is always changing.
But, it wasn’t until recently that I really started to learn about and pay close attention to my friend the moon. There is so much that it can teach us, especially kids. And that rock in the sky provides the drumbeat that steadily supports our natural world. If we let it, it can support each of us, too.
We can get closer to the moon in so many ways! In January, I made a simple new year’s resolution to celebrate each full moon in some way and to get outside to notice it more. Nearly three moons cycles in, it is already making such a difference. And my kids are excited to hear, learn and celebrate along with me. Turns out moon love comes pretty naturally.
So, in celebration of March’s full moon this Sunday, (known to some as the “worm moon”), here are 10 great ways you can get closer to it:
March’s “worm moon” is a time of awakening, according to Nicolette Sowder, creator of Wilder Child and the Kids’ Moon Club and marvelous human, who joined us as part of our weekly Tinker Talk series. Enjoy listening to 15 minutes of Nicolette’s moon-loving wisdom in the video!
Even though Wilder Child’s Kids’ Moon Club only opens up in December each year, it is super special—and we’re thrilled to be giving one person who signs up for our April Calendar a free year of the Moon Club to use when it opens up again. Thank you, Nicolette!
A new moon is a great time to start fresh or kick off something new. This moon in particular is known for coinciding with the awakening of our natural world and has the cosmic conditions that make it a particularly good time to being something. Plus, we are starting to see hope for post-pandemic life, and it seems as if the whole world has. started the process of waking up. So, use this weekend to let go of something that is burdening you or to take an idea or practice you've wanted to start and give it a go!
Even if you don’t notice it every day, make a habit to check in on the moon throughout the next month. Notice how it changes, when it’s in the sky during the daylight and what shape it takes at night. Our free April activity calendar includes an image of which phase the moon is in each day to help you keep track. And you can find out when the moon will rise, set and be in the daytime sky here.
You can also think of it as simply welcoming the moon into your life in a more meaningful way. Nicolette advises, "When you are first greeting the cycle and getting comfortable with it, just do the welcoming and the emotive piece and root yourself inside of the cycle—don't feel like you need to rush into any activities.” We've started with simply making time for the moon and trying to notice it throughout each cycle.
It never really crossed my mind that the word month comes from words for “moon.” The very way we mark time and organize our lives comes from the moon and its cycles. In a way, we’re all already moving with the moon!
Many of us know that the moon’s gravitational pull is what drives the ocean tides, but it’s still pretty mind blowing. This April, our calendar of free play activities center on planting, and did you know that for centuries people have used the moon and its phases to guide when they plant and how they care for the seeds they sow?! For example, it's a great time to plant seeds during the full or new moons.
Throughout time, people of different cultures have assigned the various full moons special names. For example, this March full moon can be called the sap moon, the sleepy moon, or the worm moon! All of these names tend to correspond with what is happening on the ground as the particular full moon occurs.
Learning about these names attunes us to what is happening in nature. You can find the names of moons in many places, but I like this list for the range of cultures it includes.
In our family, talking about the “worm moon” this week has helped us all notice the many things that are waking up here in New England. We notice the softening of the ground, the reappearance of worms, the bevy of robins that naturally follow, and the brave daffodils poking up.
In our chat, Nicolette encouraged us all to use this full moon moment and theme of awakening to look around, to notice and to celebrate whatever is waking up in our own biomes. Go on a noticing walk with kids and find signs of awakening in your yard, neighborhood or local park. If it helps, use our signs of spring sensory checklist. Welcome older kids to build a photo slideshow or create art to capture things that are awakening outside.
There is a new full moon every 27 days or so, and it happens when the Earth is positioned almost right between the sun and the moon. That’s why the moon is fully illuminated (Earth rarely gets exactly between the two. When it does, it’s a lunar eclipse). Because the moon is aligned with the sun, a full moon rises right around sunset, shines all night long, and then sets when the sun rises again the next morning. You can enter your zip code on the Farmer's Almanac site to find the moon rise and set times in your area.
Each month, the full moon appears on the eastern horizon in twilight, and the moon looks really large, giving it even more impact. So if you can plan for it, and your kids can handle it when the moonrise gets later, make it a family tradition to catch that magic moonrise moment.
So far this year, we have driven up a hill to catch the moonrise, then had friends over, made a fire and just enjoyed hanging out under the full moon. Being out at night in such bright moonlight is truly magical for kids—and adults!
If the moonrise happens too far past bedtime, make it a habit to wait a few days and try to catch a glimpse of the moon in daylight!
The night right after “full moon night,” the moon rises in the east about 50 minutes after sunset and sets 50 minutes after sunrise the following morning. And, this 50 minute shift happens every day to follow. So, the moon starts to hang out in the sky during the day time—that’s why you see the moon pop up sometimes in the bright blue sky.
For little kids, this may be the best way to see the moon, especially in the summer months.
Did you know the moon is a quarter the size of the earth? And that on its surface are seas filled with hardened lava?
The moon doesn’t produce its own light; what we see is the sun reflected off of it.
The moon is not actually a perfect sphere. Instead, it's shaped like an egg. When we look up at the moon from Earth, one of the small ends is pointing right at us, so it appears round to us.
At roughly one-fourth the diameter of Earth, some scientists think the moon is more like a planet. They refer to the Earth-moon together as a "double planet."
It’s a Tinkergarten DIY activity, a beloved book and a super fun way to help kids notice how the moon follows us wherever we go! Try our activity; it’s both thrilling and calming under any moon, at any age.
Our team has compiled a list of our 13 favorite moon books. Read some of these to spark curiosity and tune even more into the magic of the moon!
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