eclipse helmets


There will be a solar eclipse on Monday, August 21st, 2017. We’re in the 90%+ totality range, so we *need* eclipse glasses *the entire time* as we attempt to view the eclipse action directly (there will be harmful rays the entire time).


Paper glasses.

Let me back up: I knew in 2016 that I would need to prepare for the solar eclipse. So in June of this year I finally bought some NASA certified eclipse viewing glasses. They are everything I expected – floppy bits of heavy cardstock with little rectangles of serious filter.

They are AWESOME but they are also INCONVENIENT. So we are making helmets to help keep them in place.


– NASA certified solar eclipse viewing safety glasses

– 8.5×11 cardstock (I let the kids pick out colors to cut down on my decision fatigue and also so that I can say things like “NOPE THIS IS WHAT YOU PICKED LEAVE THE OTHERS ALONE” the whole time we need them Monday)

– packing tape

– stick glue

– children who will sit or stand or crouch or something to “mediumly” cooperate for sizing check-ins


Pick out cardstock colors.

Tape the cardstock to the glasses; they just need to be touching, so there’s some flop action. (Tip: I taped both sides because tape-in-hair is not something I want to deal with or hear about.)

Enlist the child on whom the helmet should fit. Put the glasses in place, limit your threats, decide where the fold to get a forehead piece, then also decide where to fold to have the top flat with a flap at the back. You should have 2 folds, and you should not feel bad about how crazily kids’ heads are shaped. That’s why we are squaring these things instead of really trying to make them fit.

When you are satisfied with the folds, do some more folding (photos at the end

of the paragraph)! Lay the glasses/cardstock flat, with the inner side up, and fold the long sides IN, at the edge of the glasses. Cut along the shortest fold lines (just to where it reaches the long fold line) so that you have more flappy bits. Glue the flaps (and just wipe off the glue if you put it on the wrong spot three separate times; you’re doing some advanced math and physics over here, okay). You can zoom in to check out this photo series.

Once you’ve glued the flaps so you’ll have a boxy unit. **For Quinn’s, I had to add

cardstock flaps because there wasn’t enough of the original cardstock to tape to the glasses’ earpieces with more tape/hair disaster potential. But the other kids just have theirs taped so the sides are solid. Again, tape inside and out to cut down on fussing.



– Quinn kindly referred to my work on his all black creation as an obsidian helmet, so, we’re also Minecrafting.

– These are “front heavy” because I want them to stay put while faces are lifted. Our rule is that the glasses have to poke your nose while you’re sun-gazing. This seems to keep them in place even when there is wiggling and jumping.

– I suggest that if you’re unsure about size,

go large. Annie (3) had no trouble with Quinn’s (10) but Brennan (5) had a hard time with Annie’s. *shrug*