Safety Information and Alternatives for Viewing the Solar Eclipse

So who’s with me?! Who else didn’t get your eclipse-viewing glasses in time? Or maybe you have young children who may use their glasses incorrectly, whose glasses may not fit correctly, or who may take them off to get a better look (not understanding the danger in doing this). If you don’t have the right equipment or if you have young children who might not be able to use the glasses correctly, you should NOT watch the solar eclipse live from outside! It’s just not worth doing permanent damage to your eyesight or that of your children.

Solar Eclipse viewing tips

So what should you do if you’re not sure your eclipse-viewing glasses are safe? Or if you didn’t get yours in time? Or if you don’t want your children or yourself to watch it live from outside?

You have options!

Pinhole Eclipse Projector

One thing you still have time to do is make a pinhole eclipse projector! These “projectors” are cheap and easy to make, and they’re used by pointing the hole in your “projector” toward the sun while you stand with your back to the sun. That way you can’t accidentally look at it. Below are a couple of options for instructions for making your own pinhole eclipse projector.

This one is from PBS Kids. It’s a pdf directed at the child, and it gives instructions for making a simple pinhole eclipse projector.

This one is from NASA and is more of a lesson plan directed at the parent/teacher. It includes goals and objectives along with information for making the “eclipse cereal box viewer.”

Keep in mind that you can use these activities and resources (listed below) even after the eclipse is over! If you don’t have time to complete your study or if there are things you and your children still want to learn later, use the actual eclipse as a “jumping off” point for the beginning of your eclipse study instead of thinking it has to end once the actual event it over!


NASA TV’s television channel and website: You’ll be able to watch the eclipse on NASA TV. Their television channel and website will air a 4-hour broadcast that starts at noon on August 21. They will share reports from locations all across the path of totality as well as live streams. You’ll be able to watch their broadcast from the NASA app, on Facebook, and YouTube too!

The Weather Channel and Twitter: The Weather Channel and Twitter are teaming up for the eclipse! You can watch the eclipse on the Weather Channel App, on Twitter’s live stream, or on The Weather Channel.

And (hopefully!) the other Hip Homeschool Moms owner, Trish, will be able to live stream her viewing of the eclipse! (I live too far South to get a great view of it.) If she’s able to do it, she will share it on the Hip Homeschool Moms Facebook page!

More Solar Eclipse Resources to Use with Your Children

Apologia is giving away a free ebook related to the eclipse! Click here to find it! This ebook contains links to sites such as NASA to help your child understand what’s going on and why we’re having an eclipse, maps, safe viewing instructions, activities, and a planning sheet.

NASA is offering lots of free downloadables related to the eclipse too! Click this link to find them.

Life of a Homeschool Mom has put together a great list of printables and freebies related to the eclipse too! Click here to go there.

Solar Eclipse Simulator

Take a look at this article in which we shared a Solar Eclipse Simulator! You can see a simulation of about what the eclipse will look like from your location or the location where you’ll be when the eclipse occurs.

Do you have plans to view the eclipse? Will you watch from your house, or will you travel somewhere else to see it? 

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