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planetOuter Space Activities

There are 3 black & white printable coloring and pattern pages associated with this theme. Use your BACK button to return to this page.

Ground Control
You won't forget about the much needed ground support for all your astronauts with this craft activity by Heather S.

Materials: A large piece of foam board,  small lids (milk jug lids, 2 liter bottle lids, etc.) and  glue.

Description: Let the children glue the lids all over  the foam board to make a 
ground control center. Lean it up against a wall and let the children sit in front of 
it.  Give them a walkie  talkie to pretend they are talking to astronauts in a rocket ship.

telescope ideaSolar System Telescope
Spark  youngsters interest in the Solar System with this teacher made telescope by M. Fey.

Materials: Paper towel rolls, black construction paper, glow in the dark stars, 
and  rubber bands.

 Description: Telescope: Paint the telescope or decorate it  with markers or stickers.  Put stars inside the roll and on the black paper circle.  Attach the paper to  the end of the roll.  When kids look in the end of the roll they will see the  glow in the dark stars, as if looking through a telescope.  You could add the moon and glow in the dark stickers also. 

Comments: This idea really sparked the student's minds.  we had many compliments  from parent's telling us their kids were asking lots of questions.  We had the  student's check the moon every night.  They wanted to learn all about space after this idea.

Outer Space in the Classroom
Diana L. uses her classroom ceiling to help youngsters learn about  planets.

Materials: Black garbage bags, stapler, glow in the dark stars, construction 
paper and tape.

Description: I cut open black garbage bags and stapled them to the ceiling. I 
then taped glow in the dark stars to the garbage bags. Each day the children and  I discussed a different planet and taped it onto the ceiling in the proper place making our solar system. 

Dramatic Play:  Space Suit
Create a space suit for pretend play with this idea from Diana L.

 Materials: Large brown paper grocery bag,  2 liter plastic soda bottle for each 
 child, crayons and markers.

Description: Teacher do this ahead of time:  Cut a line up the center of a paper 
bag from the open end to the bottom fold.  This will be the front of the suit. On 
the bottom of the bag cut out a circle shape for the neck of the child to fit  in. This circle should reach the line you've already cut into the bag. On each side 
of the small ends cut holes near folded end for arm holes. This bag should look 
like a vest when done. Let child color or decorate the bags (suits)  any way they  want. On the back of the bag( suit) tape a clean 2 liter soda bottle upside down 
for an air tank.

Space RocketDramatic Play:  Space Rocket
Diana L. offers this idea for an outer space rocket.

Materials: Large box, white paper, tape and crayons. Tool to cut a door in the box.

 Description:  Get a large box (we used a refrigerator box). cover it with white paper. Let  the children color the white paper with crayons, put a name on it, self portrait, country or  flag.  Whatever you and children decide. color the bottom part  like flames. You can put windows in if you want. Cut out a door for the children to get in and out. Then let the children pretend they are blasting off for 
outer space.

Picture of an Astronaut
Create this teacher made backdrop by Diana L. and  take a picture of a child flying in a rocket in outer space.

 Materials: Three sided card board display board, black spray paint, yellow 
 paint, blue paint. Tag board: white, red, orange. Glue and paint brush. Tool to 
 cut a circle out of the cardboard and a  large piece of black paper.

Description: Near the top of the center panel of the display board cut a circle 
large enough for a head to be seen through it. Spray paint the display board 
black. Paint yellow stars and a few blue planets on the black painted board. 
Make a rocket shape out of the white tag board (rectangle shape with cone shape top). Cut a circle out of the rocket below nose cone to match the circle in the display board. With the red tag board make two long rounded triangle shape fins for the rocket. Tape the fins onto the rocket near the bottom of each side. 

Then with the orange tag board make flames and tape it to the bottom of the rocket. Now glue the rocket onto the display board matching the circle holes. The nose cone of the rocket should be taller than the display board. Tape or tack the black paper to a wall and put the rocket in front of the black paper.  Have a child go behind the rocket, put their face into the hole and take a picture of the child  flying into space. You now have a picture of each child as an astronaut.

Moon Walk
A friend of the  Preschool  Rainbow offers this Space activity which encourages the development of large muscle skills, balance and relaxation techniques.

Materials: : Pillows, sheets, sponges, rubber bands,  space music (see below for ideas), space helmets that the children make.  Other prop ideas: long tubing (for their life support), goggles,  things wrapped in  tinfoil, white clothing for their space suits, gloves,  goggles,  telescopes, binoculars and old headphones,

Description: Create a moon landscape for the children by placing pillows all 
over the floor. Cover the floor with white or yellow sheets.  Attach sponges to 
the children's feet with rubber bands for space shoes. Play eerie and dramatic 
music as the children walk across the moon landscape.  There are some wonderful  space music tapes on the market right now (sometimes called New 
Age music).  One good one is Astral Journey  by David and Steve Gordon, produced by Sequoia Records, Box 280, Topanga, CA 90290.  This is an
 excellent tape and ideal for this activity. Celestial Suite  is  also produced by these same artists.

Solar System Board
Promote early childhood education about the different planets with this lesson plan by Michele H.

 Materials: Books or posters about the planets (need good visuals and 
 descriptions of the planets),  a variety of art materials, including but not limited to glue, scissors, colored sand, fluorescent markers or crayons, glitter, yarn, etc.
A large piece of black bulletin board paper (sized for your display area).

1.   Read several stories and / or provide lots of visual displays showing the different planets.  Even better if there are verbal descriptions of  the planets' atmospheres.

 2.  Take 2-3 children at a time and sit them around the black paper.  Tell them 
 you are going to make a space scene which will show the different planets.  Give the children a chance to choose which planet they would like to make and ask  them to share what they know about the planet they have chosen.  Talk about the size, relationship to the sun or Earth and about its atmosphere.  Give the child an opportunity to decide which materials would be best to reflect the planet  that he or she has chosen.

 3.  Let the children create their planets using their own creativity and 

 4.  As a class project  try to involve each child in some aspect of the project. 
There are only 9 planets, but there are also stars, the sun, the moon, comets, 
and other things which could be included so that everyone has a chance to share in the fun!

5.  When completed, post your solar system and enjoy!

For early childhood books about  Outer Space  go to
 Preschool  Books Listed by Themes

Outer Space Bulletin Board
Encourage preschool children to help  decorate an interactive bulletin board  with this activity  from Mary S.

Materials:  Black paper,  9 shapes cut from construction paper in different sizes keeping in mind the sizes of the planets in relation to each other., paint  and
water colors.

Description: Have the children help to create the 9 planets and the sun and moon  for the display.  I use different colors for the planets and also different 
techniques for painting them such as sponge paint, splatter paint, balloon 
paint, brush, and water color. Hang the planets, sun, and moon up on the 
bulletin board and attach numbers on each so that the children can count each 
planet.  Also, I hang up a chart showing the order of the planets for the 
children to refer to also they can follow the numbering that I have attached and 
see that they correspond to the chart.

Space Display
Allow children to create a sun,  moon,  and  earth for display in the  classroom
during this early childhood  art activity by Mary S.

Materials: White construction paper,  yellow and orange tissue squares,
scissors and glue,  circle shaped item to dip into paint and then print on paper,
gray or silver paint,  green and blue paint.

Description: Trace a small, medium, and large circle onto the white construction  paper.  The children cut out the circles.  Glue tissue paper squares on the  large circle for the sun.  Paint the medium size circle with the blue and green  paint for the earth.  Dip the circular item into gray or silver paint and make craters on the small circle for the moon.  Display these shapes around the room.   When I did this I took a quote from each child about something they had learned  about the sun, moon, and earth and displayed their quote along with their  art work. 

Comments: I used this during a parent program.  The  parents really enjoyed walking around the room and reading their child's quotes.  Also, when we were finished studying space I took the shapes and their quotes and put them together in a book.

Dramatic Play:   Space 
Children explore the possibilities of a Space Center as they participate in this activity by Mary R.

Materials: Empty gallon milk jugs,  a thick tape (I use colored duct  tape), and  a  space theme back drop.

Description: I found a preprinted space shuttle cockpit backdrop and taped it to 
the back of our cubbies and onto a table that was set up against it.  I washed 
and dried the milk jugs and then cut around the handle so that I made a helmet 
with a "microphone" hanging down. The milk jug is upside down. I then taped all 
the edges so they are not sharp. Then I  walked away. The kids did the rest.
I  did add a Greg and Steve album with the song "Adventures in Space",  It walks you  through a space flight.  The kids will ask to play it over and over again.  I also  added a book I found at a thrift store called  "Let's Go To The Moon". The kids  are a blast to watch. 

 Comments: Use yours and the children's imaginations to decided what else to add.

For books about Outer Space go to Preschool Books Listed by Theme

Orbiting The Sun
Help young children understand what the word  "orbit" means during this space activity by Mary S.

Description: Have the children all stand in a big circle.  Put one child in the 
middle to be the sun.  Then we all moved in a circle around the child in the 
middle to illustrate the planets orbiting the sun.  We moved at different 
speeds, backwards and forward.  Each child was given a turn to be the "sun". 
The children loved this and it really helped to understand how the planets orbit 
around the sun.

Two  Pretend  Planetariums
Liz suggests this early childhood  space activity saying,  "Create a stargazer's dream planetarium and a Big Dipper projector.  Children can imagine being a part of the night sky, floating in space or  traveling to another planet."

 Materials: For Stargazers Planetarium:
 Large cardboard appliance box
 Black spray paint (adult only)
 Glow in the dark stick on stars

For Big Dipper projector:
 Heavy paper cup, like a paper coffee cup
 Poking tool, like a pointed pencil
 Dark room

 Description: Stargazers  Planetarium:
 1.  Spray paint the inside of the appliance box with the black spray paint 
 (adult only!)
 Note:  Do this a week in advance so the box does not smell.

2.  Turn the box on its side so the box can be entered from one end.  Tape the
 other end closed.

 3.  Place stick-on glow in the dark stars on the inside black walls of the box. 
 Make real or imaginary constellations.

 4.  Stargazers climb inside with a flashlight and explore the night sky.
      Sing the song  Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star 

For storytime read: Stargazers  by  Gail Gibbons

 Big Dipper Projector
1.  Draw seven dots on the bottom of the large, heavy paper cup in the design of   the Big Dipper.
Note:  Other constellation patterns, real or imaginary, can be made.

 2.  With adult help, poke seven holes through the seven dots.

 3.  Turn off the lights and shine a flashlight through the cup

 4.  Project the Big Dipper onto the ceiling or wall.

Comments: Cut out foil stars can be substituted for glow in the dark stars.

Art  Activity:  Rockets
Youngsters use fine motor skills during this creative activity  from  Mary S.

Materials: Paper towel roll for each child,  white paint,  markers,  cone shaped drinking cups,  sticky stars and  red crepe paper.

Description: Have the children paint the paper towel rolls  white.  When dry, glue the cone cup on one end.  On the other end glue 3 or 4 strips of crepe paper.  Have the children write USA on the roll and then add sticky stars and flag  stickers.

Art  Activity:  Astronaut  Helmet
Preschool children use creative skills  as they  learn  about  space equipment during this art activity by  Mary S.

 Materials:  White construction paper,  aluminum foil,  sticky stars ,  American 
(or another country's)  flag stickers  and  markers.

Description: Trace an astronaut shape onto the white construction paper.  Also 
trace a space for the face.  The children cut out the helmets but you may have 
to cut out the face portion.  Tape a piece of aluminum foil in the space where 
the face should be.  Let the children draw a face on the aluminum foil with the 
markers (permanent markers work the best).  Write the child's name underneath  the face.  Then the children stick on the American flag and the star stickers..

Art  Activity:  Black and White Basic Colors
Encourage  preschool children  to recognize  the color black and associate it with night  and  how the sky looks at night  as they participate in this activity by Marlin G.  Even  toddlers can scribble on black paper with chalk.

Materials: Black construction paper,  chalk of assorted sizes, shapes, and colors.  Depending on the ability of the child,  shapes to trace around such as cookie  cutters or card board forms.

Description: Give a child black construction paper and chalk of  his or her  choice. Talk  about the sky at night, color and what they might see if they looked up into the sky.  Stars, moon, plane lights etc. .Encourage  the child to draw (using the chalk ) something  he or she  would see. If the child is capable have forms of stars or stencils of planes  and  planets  available for  him or her to use. Or if nothing else,  encourage  the child to draw  freehand  a  scene on  his or her paper of what they think is in the dark. 

Comments: This is a  good way to introduce the solar system and night time. Helps  in  conquering fears of the dark. Children and adults learn through association of  what they already know so this opens up many  fields  for exploration.

"Magic"  Space Pictures
Preschool  and  kindergarten  children  recognize shapes  and colors  when they create crayon resists with  this art  activity  from Teressa L.

 Materials: Crayons,  paper,  black  paint  and  brushes.

Description:   Have children color a night picture with stars, moons and 
planets.  Make sure they color solidly.  Then  help  them  brush black  paint over the entire picture.

Comments: Children told their parents they made "magic" pictures.  One parent  said she bought her child a picture frame & hung the picture over his bed. Other  parents loved the idea and did the same.

"Santa Clause Flying in a  Rocket or  Space Ship
Instead of on a  Sled"
Darlene J. shares this activity saying,  "The objective is to have the children use their imaginations by writing a  class story about  Santa delivering toys by space ship instead of  a sled. "

Materials:  Imaginations, crayons, paper  and a teacher to type up the story  for 
each child's homemade book.

Description: I  start the story off by telling the children  that  Santa's sled  has 
broken down and he has to use a space  ship to deliver  toys to the boys and girls.  Then I ask open ended questions like  " Where will he get a  space ship? Will his reindeer go with him?  Will the space ship be quicker you think  than his sled?" 
These questions  spark their creativity and  make a lively story.   After   the story is written I  have them decorate a book cover with Santa and his  spaceship!
I used this activity around Christmas when we did a space theme.  The 
children loved it and the parents got a kick out of our story!

Comments: Let the children be creative with making their book covers.  Let it 
be their work.




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