Moon Phases – Free Montessori 3-part Cards

Have you ever struggled understanding the Moon Phases? You’re not the only one! Most people do. We all know the Full Moon and the New Moon but we rarely know the names of other Moon Phases or what the relation between the Sun, the Earth and the Moon really is. Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards are here to help whether you are 3-year old or 99-year old. Print them, cut them and have fun!

Free Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards

How to print the Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards bundle

If you haven’t downloaded the Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards bundle yet, please do it now. You can use it for personal and educational purposes. There are three PDF documents – Moon Phases, Earth and Sun and the Control Card. I wanted to to give you freedom to choose the size of your Montessori cards and border or borderless print. Before you press print button, please read through the following instructions to prevent any frustration.

The Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards and the Sun and Earth templates are designed as two sets of two cards on an A4 (letter size) paper. The Control Card is designes as A3 (ledger) size. The recommended print settings depend on your printer capabilities and whether you will be mounting them on a card stock for colour coding and durability.

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Printing the Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards

The Moon Phases 3-Part Cards seem to come out much better with more details and pure black background on my black and white HP LaserJet Professional P1102. Print is much better quality and much cheaper than using an ink printer.

I’d recommend to print two pages on one sheet of paper which will result in a total of eight cards on each sheet. This way the Moon cards will be twice smaller than the Earth and Sun.

Double click on Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards.pdf to open it in Adobe Acrobat Reader and select File => Print or press a keyboard shortcut CTRL + P.

In the Print dialog window select your Printer from the dropdown menu and in Page Sizing & Handling click on Multiple tab. In the Pages per sheet dropdown select 2. Check the preview and click Print.

Moon Phases - print 2 pages on one sheet

Printing the Earth and Sun Montessori 3-Part Cards

To print the Earth and Sun Montessori 3-Part Cards I’m going to use Canon PIXMA iP7250 Injet. It works much better than my previous HP Inkjet and it works very well with cheap Compatible Ink Cartridges so you can print as much as you like without spending a fortune.

Double click on the Earth and Sun Montessori 3-Part Cards.pdf to open it and select File => Print or press a keyboard shortcut CTRL + P.

In the Print dialog window select your colour Printer from the dropdown menu and in Page Sizing & Handling click on Size tab. Tick a radio button next to Custom Scale and type 92 into the input. Check the preview and click Print.

If you scale the page down to 92%, the cards will come out twice larger than the Moon Cards.

Earth and Sun print custom scale

Printing the Control Card

The Control Card is designed as A3 size. If you possess a printer that can print A3, I’d recommend to print it that large, especially if you have young children. Most printers, however, only print A4, which is fine. The Acrobat Reader will scale it down for you.

Double click on the Corntrol Card.pdf to open it and select File => Print or press a keyboard shortcut CTRL + P.

In the Print dialog window select your colour Printer from the dropdown menu and in Page Sizing & Handling click on Size tab. Tick a radio button next to Shrink oversized pages. Check the preview and click Print.

Control Card print shrink oversized pages

Borderless printing

I designed The Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards bundle so that you can print it bordeless if you have printer that has borderless print capabilities and if you are not going to mount the cards on a coloured card.

Double click on any of the PDF files and select File => Print or press a keyboard shortcut CTRL + P.

In the Print dialog window select your Printer from the dropdown menu and in Page Sizing & Handling click on Size tab. Tick a radio button next to Actual size. Check the preview and click Print.

Moon Phases Bundle Printed
Printed Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards Bundle

How to make Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards durable

Cutting Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards

Now that you have printed your cards, cut with scissors or with a precise paper cutter along the lines and you can start using them right away. However, most people prefer having their Montessori cards colour-coded.

Mounting Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards on a card stock

I’m going to mount the cards on a black card. Firstly, using a good old ruler and led pencil, draw guidlines on a A4 (297 x 210 mm) sheet of black card like this:

A4 Montessori Cards Dividers

Don’t worry too much about the decimal numbers. If your card has different dimensions, adjust the measurements accordingly.

Glue Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards on a Card Stock
Glue Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards on a card stock

Laminating Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards

Laminating your cards will make them look pretty and last forever. You will need a laminator and laminating pouches. I’ve had a packet of 100 GBC A4 Laminating Pouches (80 micron) and they last for a long time. The laminated cards look glossy and are neither too thin or too thick.

You have two options how to laminate your cards:

  • Either laminate the whole A4 card from the previous step and then cut along the lines – it’s easier and quicker.
  • Or cut along the lines, then laminate individual cards and cut again leaving about 2mm edge – requires a bit of patience but your cards will be protected all around.

To laminate you cards:

  1. Preheat the laminator to the correct temperature.
  2. Put a laminating pouch on a clean larger movable flat surface (like a book).
  3. Check that you have the laminating pouch the right way up (the corner should be top left).
  4. Insert the whole A4 sheet of paper into the pouch or space individual cards evenly with enough space round them.
  5. Hold the book in front of the laminator and with one hand carefully push the edge of the pouch till the laminator grips the pouch. Keep the book still till the whole pouch enters the laminator to minimize movement of the content.
  6. If you experience any bubbles or if you’re laminating a card, push the laminated sheet through the laminator again.

How to use the Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards

Start using your Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards simply by matching the cards. It’s more challenging than you may think. The First Quarter might at glance look very similar to the Third Quarter when you hold the card upside down, the same applies to crescents and gibbouses.

Matching Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards
Matching Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards

When you master matching the cards, you can carry on with a Montessori Three-Period Lesson with your child or if you’re an adult, try to memorize the phases and quiz yourself.

Here comes the real challenge. Put the Earth and the Sun cards on the floor. Place the Moon cards round the Earth
depending how we see the Moon from the Earth during its monthly cicle. Use the Control Card for matching exercise or to check if you placed them correctly.

Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards
Learn the Moon Cycle with Moon Phases Montessori 3-Part Cards and the Control Card

Learning doesn’t have to happen by reading a book. If you use the right materials, you can get better knowledge without books and teachers at any age. Remember to have fun and a next time you go out, look up at the Moon instead of your mobile device screen.

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Image sources:

  • NASA/JPL Edu. (2017). Moon Phases Activity | NASA/JPL Edu. [online] Available at: https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/edu/teach/activity/moon-phases/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2017].
  • WallpaperSafari. (2017). NASA Earth Wallpaper. [online] Available at: https://wallpapersafari.com/nasa-earth-wallpaper/ [Accessed 19 Apr. 2017].
  • NASA. (2017). Sun Emits a Mid-level Flare. [online] Available at: https://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/sunearth/news/News111312-m6flare.html [Accessed 19 Apr. 2017].

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