Friday, August 18, 2017

Worry-Free Eclipse Glasses for Kids Using a Paper Plate

With the big Eclipse event of 2017 just a few days away, I've been waffling between stressed and excited at the thought of viewing it with my kids. With nine children, any exciting event needs to be planned out well if I hope to keep any kind of order. It's especially important that our Eclipse viewing day is not chaotic because the slightest deviation from my instructions to them can cause permanent serious eye damage.

You've probably already made yourself aware of the important warnings and safe viewing practices put out by NASA and other reputable organizations. If not, be sure to check out NASA's instructions for enjoying the Eclipse safely.

The kids and I have been visiting my mom in Oregon all summer, which puts us very close to the path of totality. We'll experience about a 98% eclipse in the town we're in. Therefore, it is imperative that we have protection for our eyes the entire time we are watching the event. My big worry in all of this is how I am going to make sure the kids keep their eclipse glasses on---especially since they're way too big for most little faces.

Sometime in the last two weeks, I'm sure I saw this paper plate idea online somewhere. That, or I dreamed it. Either way, I don't think this is my own idea but I can't find the original post so I'm doing my own. It's not a worry-free hack...but it is a worry-less one! My sister-in-law lives about 90 minutes up the mountain in a town that will see 100% totality and she was able to snag us these neat eclipse glasses that have the date of the event printed on them. They'll be a special memento of the day and of our time in Oregon so I don't want to alter them in any way. This DIY allows me to make them safely work for each of the kids.

I began by tracing and cutting a rectangle into the center of the plate. I made it large enough not to obscure any part of the lenses but small enough that the glasses completely overlap all edges.

Then I cut two slits on either side of the rectangle to run the glasses through.

Next, I ran the glasses through the slits, and carefully pressed the glasses against the plate, taping them down.

Finally, I cut up to the nose opening on both sides to help it securely fit on little faces and voila!---a safer option for my little kids that won't be slipping off of their faces unexpectedly. The kids can hold this up to their faces when they want to get a glimpse of this awesome event. I'm going to have them practice looking down to the ground before removing it so they don't accidentally get an unwanted peek.

The most important part of this DIY is taking the time to explain to your kids why they can't look at the sun without the glasses. On a normal day, it's very difficult for us to look at the sun anyway, but on Eclipse day, it will be much easier the more the sun is obscured. The rays are still just as harmful though so we must use the protective glasses through the entire event. Only those in the path of 100% totality will have a precious minute or two to remove their glasses and look up when the moon is directly in front of the sun---but for the rest of us, it's glasses on the whole time!