INA Weekly Brief

Eclipse Brings Universe of Fun to Nanny World

August 17, 2017
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On Monday, August 21, 2017, a Total Solar Eclipse is coming to the United States!

Although I’m not in the path of totality I’m still really excited!  I’m looking forward to having the opportunity to teach my charges (ages nearly 3 and turning 6 this week!) about this celestial wonder!

We will get to experience a partial solar eclipse here in our area of North Carolina. Other Nannies may be lucky enough to reside in the band of totality! Check the NASA website at to see where you fall in the eclipse path.

While some Nannies may be planning an outing to view the eclipse others may opt to watch a live stream of the natural event as it unfolds. If you are planning on taking your charges out for this unique learning experience please do not underestimate how dangerous an eclipse can be for our eyes.  For information on how to safely view the eclipse please visit:

I love nature and so does my Nanny Family. It’s only fitting that we want to school the children on what is happening in the sky on Monday. We have been reading about the sun and the moon, phases of an eclipse,  temperature drop during an eclipse, changes in animals during an eclipse, mapping states in the path and so much more. 

One of the best ways to teach kids, in my opinion, is hands on learning fun. We have been working on eclipse crafts this week. I will share with you two if our favorites!

Our first craft was this simple Sun and Moon Eclipse Tool for kids which will help easily teach the phases of an eclipse. 

What you will need:

  • Creatology Glitter Foam Sheet
  • Heavy black paper
  • Scissors
  • Round lid for tracing
  • Pen or pencil
  • Round head fasteners (brass brad paper fasteners)

*We found all supplies at Michael’s craft store and our junk drawer!






Simply trace equally sized circles (using a round lid) on both the black paper and the gold glitter foam sheet and carefully cut. 






After you have two neatly cut circles of both the black paper (moon) and gold foam sheet (sun) line them up evenly with the moon placed over the sun. We used the tip of our ink pin to pierce a hole near the edge of the circles.  Put those fine motor skills to work by placing the round head fastener through the hole. Wah-lah! You now have a learning tool to teach the phases of an eclipse. It’s easy enough for little hands to manipulate on their own. My charges loved it and have been carrying theirs around for two days now!




The second craft we will share with you is our Solar Eclipse t-shirts. Again, a trip to Michaels craft store had it all! 

What you will need:

  • Black t-shirt
  • Bowl or dessert size plate
  • Cardboard (like a cereal box) or newspaper
  • Fabric paint in yellow, orange, red, and white (or white with glitter) and black for touch ups
  • Small paint brushes

Before you begin painting place cardboard or newspaper inside the shirt. This will prevent the paint from bleeding through to the back side of your shirt.

Place your shirt on a flat surface and begin by placing the bowl or dessert plate on the chest area of the shirt to use as your pattern. Squirt yellow paint on the fabric around the circumference of the bowl. Allow your charge to use their paintbrush to pull the paint outward onto the fabric. Follow up the painting using red and orange. Help your charge by holding the bowl or plate very still so you keep a nice, even pattern.  

Lift the bowl to see your solar design!  Use the white paint to make a nice glow in the inner ring.  Your shirts will be dry and ready in two to three hours! We can’t wait to wear ours on Monday. We even made one for Dad!  


Don’t forget to make fun food! Rye bread and cheddar cheese cut into circles will make a tasty sun and moon sandwich. Add Sunchips, SunMaid raisins, moon pies or Milky Way minis, Sunny-D or CapriSun drinks to make Solar Eclipse 2017 even more festive! Have fun and happy learning!


Tracey Chipps is a Professional Nanny of twenty three years. She works in Chapel Hill, NC with her family of nearly six years. Tracey has a love of nature which she enjoys bringing to her charges. In her free time she enjoys gardening, travel and music. She shares her Durham, NC home with her rescued pit bulls. Tracey can be reached at