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Pipe Cleaner Constellations

Challenge your children to think outside the box with this fun activity with free printable constellation flashcards! This is a great activity to challenge older children and have younger children practice their fine motor skills.

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The sky's the limit in your classroom!

Have you ever seen a grouping of stars in a pattern? These are called constellations and typically represent an animal, mythological person, or create or an inanimate object. Constellations are quite old but absolutely beautiful to look up at on a clear night. 

📚Read up! Constellations for Kids: An Easy Guide to Discovering the Stars by Kelsey Johnson is a great starting point! 

Did you know? The word "constellation" comes from a Latin term meaning "set with stars." 

🌟 How can that be! Every star you see in the night sky is bigger and brighter than our sun.


For this activity you will need:

Pipe cleaners


Printable constellation cards

Learning Outcomes






Creating complex 2D and 3D drawings and constructions


Step 1:

Print out the constellation flashcards.

Step 2:

Using the flashcards as a guide, thread the beads through the pipe cleaners and bend the pipe cleaner where the constellation bends in the card. The beads should line up to the dots on the cards too. After you bend the pipe cleaners you may need to readjust your beads.

Step 3:

Continue bending and threading the pipe cleaners until you have a galaxy full of constellations!

⬆️ For older preschoolers: This is a great way for older children to think outside the box. Have them make up their own constellation and don’t forget to give it a name!

⬇️ For younger toddlers: This activity can be hard for younger children to conceptualize. You may need to bend the pipe cleaner for them and they can work on threading the beads through the pipe cleaner after — great fine motor work!

Playful Questions

How many beads are in this constellation?

Have you ever seen a constellation in the sky?

Do you think we can see the same constellations as people who live far away from us?

Can you draw this constellation as if it were a real person/animal/object?

What’s your favorite constellation from the cards? Why?

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