Play + Learn | Celebrating Neil Armstrong and the History of Broadcast Television
I’m all about having some fun with the kids but if I can incorporate some kind of lesson into our activity? Major bonus. Lately, I’ve been pondering the effect of television on our children. I mean, I think we call all agree it’s not the best thing they can do with their time. But in the same note, can television ever be viewed as something beneficial? Or, maybe we can just capitalize on their fascination with television by offering a lesson about it.
After all, since it’s invention in 1935, we have received a great wealth of news and information from the television. Think: Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the Moon, for starters.
So with that in mind, today I’m teaching my children about some important historical events that have famously been broadcast via the good ole tube. We’ve decided to focus on Neil Armstrong’s famous walk on the Moon in 1969.
What are we doing exactly? Well, we’re making a television set from a cereal box and our Astronaut will be made from that same box (and a knit glove) with a tiny Moon prop to match. Here’s how…
one large cereal box (plain cardboard on the inside is best)
one black magic marker (top secret: I actually used a sharpie for this project)
scissors and an x-acto knife (parents only, and the x-acto knife is best but also optional)
one solid colored glove
Making the Television Set:
Use the cardboard piece that you cut-out to form the television “screen” to create your astronaut. You can use your creative license when drawing your astronaut or you can make the astronaut suit more historically accurate (we opted for some creative liberties). Tip: make sure not to draw legs. You will be forming two holes to poke your fingers through while wearing the glove to form the astronaut legs.
Once you have your astronaut drawing complete (and the circles for the finger holes drawn) you may cut him out. We found using an x-acto knife to remove the inside of the finger circles was the best way to cut these out but I am sure if you are very careful, you could manage with scissors as well.
You can also draw props using additional cereal box cardboard (I suggest using the cardboard from the back of the box that you removed, if that allows you enough). Since we were celebrating Neil Armstrong’s walk on the Moon, we obviously made a moon! We traces a larger circle top, cut it out then affixed a wooden dowel to the back with tape!
Lastly, go and play! Whatever you’ve chosen to make and re-enact via your pretend television set it’s sure to be a good history lesson in broadcast television for children. After the kids have finished playing with the pretend t.v. set, you could also have them tape some artwork behind the screen as a frame for their work.
See? Endless possibilities here!