Whether you are a science teacher looking for a fun in-class activity or a parent looking for an educational craft on a day off from school, try some of these far-out DIY space activities to teach kids about space!
1. Design a Solar System Model
A 3D model solar system is a classic space project that is a rite of passage into all future science fair participation. The craft supplies and opportunities are endless to make a mobile or model with your child’s creative touch.
Gather items around the house — pom-poms, paper or cardboard — and designate a color for each planet. Use markers, paints or watercolors to add designs — like the continents on Earth or the cloud bands on Jupiter. Attach your planets in order with a string on a mobile for them to hang down and create the illusion of floating in space. Don’t forget to add a sun in the middle!
2. Demonstrate the Moon’s Craters
When gazing at the moon at night, your kids may wonder why there are some “holes” in the moon’s surface. If your kids are visual learners, you can provide them with a demonstration using four easy-to-find supplies from your home.
Gather four cups of flour, a half cup of baby oil, a handful of small pebbles and a round cake pan. Mix the flour and oil in the cake pan to create your moon’s surface. Have your kids drop stones into the dough from varying heights to symbolize meteors. After you pick up the pebbles, they will have left a divot in your moon’s surface — also known as a mini crater.
3. Snack on the Moon and Stars
When you’re trying to figure out how to teach kids about space, try incorporating a quick space lesson into your child’s snack time. Map out well-known constellations using marshmallows and toothpicks. You can even set your designs on black construction paper to represent the night sky.
To learn more about the moon phases, create a visual for your child using the filling of an Oreo. Cut out the phases with a butter knife, using the frosting to represent the lighted portion of the moon and the cookie as the shadows. Line them up in order — new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, full moon, waning gibbous, last quarter and waning crescent.
After you’re done — eat them! This project is best when paired with a glass of milk.
4. Build Your Own Bottle Rocket (BYOBR)
Bottle rockets are tried and true ways to get children excited about space. Use this experiment with your lesson about the moon landing, or make it a fun summer activity. All you need is construction paper, duct tape, a two-liter bottle, cardboard, clay, water, a cork and a bicycle pump.
5. Craft a Solar Eclipse With Coffee Filters
This easy craft uses two coffee filters to represent a solar eclipse. Walk your child through the steps as you make it and prepare them for the next total eclipse in 2024!
Lay out a black piece of construction paper and gather a gluestick, two coffee filters, a white crayon and a black crayon. Glue a white filter on the left side of the paper. Color the other filter black and overlap the white filter on the page. Draw rays representing light on the left and stars on the darkened side. Your solar eclipse is now complete!
Sign up for Far Out Space Academy Camp
Science Explorers offers fun and educational summer camps for your child, and our theme is about space this year! If your child has an elevated interest in the solar system, our Far Out Space Academy program can launch them into new hands-on learning opportunities. Registration is open — sign them up today!