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Statewide Events 1

Plan Your Arkansas Eclipse SOLAR-bration


Well, it is upon us. A large part of Arkansas is the center of totality for the Great American Solar Eclipse, and everyone is anticipating an extraordinary day across the Natural State. Whether you are traveling to the best viewing spots or stepping out into your backyard, it is the perfect time to plan fun activities and prepare for your family to mark the occasion of the Great North American Total Solar Eclipse.

How can our family make memories with the Total Solar Eclipse in Arkansas?

  • Prepare Now
  • Attend an event
  • Get involved with your local community, volunteer and serve as event staff
  • Make eclipse shirts
  • Create an eclipse viewer
  • Plan a fun dinner
  • Have an eclipse craft day
  • Create survival kits for neighbors
  • Get your groceries (and toilet paper) early
  • Step outside and observe on the big day!
  • Have a glow stick dance party to celebrate

Eclipse Survival Kit

One of the most fun things you can do to celebrate the eclipse is “survival” kits for teachers, neighbors, elderly friends or children’s classes at school. You can present them in a gift bag, a treat bag, a small gift box or even a gallon-sized zipper bag.

Most of these items are snacks, but you can always include emergency items like a flashlight, roadside kit items, blanket or jacket, sunglasses or eclipse glasses.

Some items to include in your Eclipse Survival Snack Kit:

  • Moon Pies
  • Star Crunch snack cakes
  • Cosmic Brownies
  • Sun Chips
  • Cheese balls
  • Scorching or Flaming chips
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Freeze-dried fruit snacks or candy (like the astronauts eat!)
  • Orbits or Eclipse gum
  • Starburst candy
  • Peach Rings candy
  • Milky Way candy bars
  • Milk Duds
  • Whoppers
  • Starlight Mints or Lifesaver Mints
  • Sunny D
  • Capri Sun drink pouches
  • Sun drop soda
  • Sunkist soda
  • Oreo products – Space Dunk and black and white filling

“Space bags” with a Milky Way fun-size candy bar, a couple of starbursts, moon pie or star crunch, starlight mints or lifesaver mints, and a Capri Sun are an easy snack to send to school for a classroom or ball team or carry to work for co-workers. Print this Out of This World tag for your bags here.

Eclipse Related Recipes

Another fun way to celebrate the eclipse is with a dinner or lunch menu while you picnic and watch the eclipse.

  • Sun Braid desserts or sandwiches – this traditional French appetizer is easy to make with many different fillings. We use Nutella or ham and cheese, but cookie butter, peanut butter, pesto and feta, taco meat, or nacho cheese would all work.
  • Crescent pizza roll-ups or Pepperoni Twists – place pepperoni or cooked ground meat in a crescent roll and top it with cheese before rolling it up. Brush the top with melted butter and garlic powder before you bake.
  • Chicken Salad on Croissants
  • “Crescent” sandwiches – any sandwich toppings on a croissant roll feel like a moon-shape.
  • Rocket Dogs – hot dogs wrapped in crescent roll, served on a skewer with a cheese triangle topper.
  • Homemade biscuit doughnuts dipped in a variety of toppings – use this to build a solar system
  • Homemade Moon Pies

Image used with permission from Story of a Kitchen

  • Sun Bread topped with mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes and balsamic glaze
  • Moon and Stars Skewers – pineapple chunks and red grapes on a wooden skewer
  • Space smash cookies – sugar cookies, iced with yellow icing, and a chocolate sandwich cookie smashed on top.
  • Half-moon Pudding Cups – ½ half chocolate/vanilla pudding cups
  • Sun Tea – brew your tea in a clear glass pitcher all day outside in the sun
  • Slice bananas & dip halfway in chocolate – freeze them for a fun treat
  • Planet Ring Roll-Ups
  • Meteorite Meatballs
  • Chocolate Eclipse – serve scoops of vanilla ice cream over chocolate cobbler

Photo used with permission from Bigpittstop blog.

Eclipse-Related Crafts and Family Activities

Another great way to build eclipse memories together is through crafts and family activities. Maybe you are planning a road trip to a viewing destination. Try these activities on the road or at a vacation rental. Others are great activities at home if you stay put and watch in your local community.

  • Make a solar eclipse shirt. There are many ways to interpret the sun and skies on a T-shirt, bag or hat, but children will find great pride in wearing something they made. One option is to paint in layers or use bleach and a spray bottle.
  • Chalk art your viewing space before you begin. Draw out constellations, the solar system, or just fun designs for where you will be standing.
  • Use stick pretzels and marshmallows to make constellations.
  • Read the book Sun Bread and make a recipe together.

Photo used with permission from Bigpittstop blog.

  • Use vanilla and chocolate sandwich cookies to make models of the moon phases – then eat your activity for a snack!
  • Use clay or playdough to create the moon phase path. See if these Moon Phase Worksheets help!
  • Use paper plates to create the moon phase map or put a black plate on top of a yellow plate with a brad and show what it looks like for the moon to cross the sun.
  • Glow stick dance party: Get bulk glow sticks and host a party in your living room or backyard to get the wiggles out. Don’t forget to download songs from our fun playlist!

If you’d like to download and enjoy a playlist from Apple Music, here’s a great option, click here.

  • Add glow sticks to the bathtub and let the children play for extra time.
  • Make a 3D paper-mache moon. Tear strips of newspaper and make a watered-down glue solution. Form the round shape around an inflated balloon.
  • Play “Sun, Sun, Moon” instead of Duck, Duck, Goose and yell “Total Eclipse” if you catch someone and tag them before they sit down.
  • Use the passing of time to practice and learn more about using the clock and telling time – how long is four minutes and 16 seconds, or what does 1:46 p.m. look like on the clock?

Below are some downloadable images to add fun to your SOLAR-bration.

Enjoy April 8, 2024. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime event for many of us. Make plans to observe the total solar eclipse wherever you are and create sweet memories with your family.

And if you can’t get away from your desk or don’t want to take your children to a faraway place, watch the eclipse live on Arkansas PBS.

Meet the

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Keisha (Pittman) McKinney lives in Northwest Arkansas with her chicken man and break-dancing son. Keisha is passionate about connecting people and building community, seeking solutions to the everyday big and small things, and encouraging others through the mundane, hard, and typical that life often brings. She put her communications background to work as a former Non-profit Executive Director, college recruiter and fundraiser, small business trainer, and Digital Media Director at a large church in Northwest Arkansas. Now, she is using those experiences through McKinney Media Solutions and her blog @bigpittstop, which includes daily adventures, cooking escapades, #bigsisterchats, the social justice cases on her heart, and all that she is learning as a #boymom! Keisha loves to feed birds, read the stack on her nightstand, do dollar store crafts, cook recipes from her Pinterest boards, and chase everyday adventures on her Arkansas bucket list.

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