Today I’m welcoming Katie, my talented blogging friend of Gift of Curiosity. Katie offers countless learning activities and printables for young children. My favorite are her science activities – she knows just how to challenge young children while making learning fun at the same time. Be sure to follow hop on over and follow Gift of Curiosity for learning ideas and free printables!
I’m Katie, and I blog at Gift of Curiosity to share hands-on learning activities and educational printables for young children. I’m so excited to be sharing at The Measured Mom today to help Anna as she takes a break for the birth of her new baby.
I have two kids, a boy and a girl. My six-year-old daughter has been absolutely enthralled with space for about a year now. Astronauts, planets, the sun, the moon. . . if it’s in our galaxy, she wants to learn about it.
In this post I am sharing 10 of our favorite space activities for kids. Most of these activities would be enjoyed by kids ages 3 to 9. Click any of the titles or images below to learn more about the activities described.
1. Phases of the moon activities
Through observation alone, my kids had already noted that the moon changes shape over the course of the moon. We then did several activities to learn why the moon changes shape and to develop our vocabulary for describing each phase of the moon. The kids particularly enjoyed the moon phases craft we made using Oreo cookies, and playing with flashlights was also a big hit. Read more. . .
2. How did the moon get its craters?
In studying the moon, we learned that its surface is filled with lots of craters. These craters were formed many years ago when huge rocks slammed into the moon, leaving behind deep holes. We did an awesome moon craft as a great hands-on way to reinforce facts about the moon’s crater-filled surface. Read more. . .
3. Sun paintings
I love using art projects to reinforce science concepts. With these sun paintings, my kids not only created some beautiful artwork using a new painting technique (hint: it involves plastic cling wrap), they also deepened their scientific understanding of the sun’s colors, gaseous composition, and solar flares. Read more. . .
4. Recording the earth’s rotation with shadows
This is a fantastic activity for showing kids how the earth rotates throughout the day, causing the sun to appear in different places across the sky. We spent a day recording the shadows cast by the sun to see this phenomenon in action. My kids made predictions about the shadows cast by the sun and then compared what actually happened to their predictions. Read more. . .
5. How planets orbit the sun
One of the facts I wanted my kids to understand about the planets is that they orbit around the sun in a large circle (or more accurately, an ellipse). To drive this point home, I set up a simple activity using a pie tin, some play dough, and a ball to demonstrate for my kids how planets orbit the sun. Read more. . .
6. Planet window clings
When I came across directions for making window clings from gelatin, I knew it would be the perfect recipe for making our own planet window clings. So we mixed together the ingredients and then dyed them to look like the planets and the sun. The kids and I enjoyed discussing color choices for each of the planets we created, making this a great way to review the unique features of each planet. Read more. . .
7. Building a model solar system
Of all the activities we have done to learn about space, I don’t think any was as eagerly anticipated as this one was. My kids were so excited about making a model solar system it was crazy. I absolutely loved their enthusiasm for this project and I loved how excited it made my daughter, in particular, to continue learning about all things space-related. Her model solar system now hangs in her room. Read more. . .
8. Constellation craft
Who doesn’t love learning about the constellations? This was a super fun constellation craft we did that worked on visual-spatial awareness, fine motor skills, and more. My kids had a blast with this activity, especially when I let them turn me into a constellation. Read more. . .
9. Astronaut glove box
As part of our space unit, we had the opportunity to visit a small, local NASA museum. One of the exhibits my kids enjoyed the most was focused on life in the International Space Station. That exhibit included a glove box, which is a special box astronauts and scientists use to study objects that may be damaged if touched directly by human hands or that may pose a health hazard to the astronauts if handled directly. I wanted to give my kids a better understanding of the glove box and its role in scientific research. So I figured, what better way to help them understand the glove box than to build one of our own? Read more. . .
10. How do astronauts eat in space?
During our space unit we read a lot of books about how astronauts live in outer space. We learned how they get around in zero gravity, including how they sleep, bathe, and eat. To really drive home the challenges of eating a meal in space, we planned our own “space lunch” featuring foods you might find on a space shuttle. We also added some extra challenges to simulate the need to keep one’s food tied down or risk having it float away from you! Many months after we did this activity my kids still talk about their space lunch and ask to do it again. Read more. . .
Katie is the mom of two wonderful and curious kids. With a master’s degree in education and a Ph.D. in child development, she loves engaging her children in hands-on learning activities. She shares lots of educational ideas as well as printable resources at Gift of Curiosity. You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
A guy from Israel
I LOVED the idea of the glove box! Thanks for everything
Your ideas are amazing,and most importantly simple and practical learning.I m happy to get such idea.
Hi I’m looking for science activities for the topic on space ship, rocket and astronauts for 3 year olds.
do you have any activity suggestion to teach to kindergartners, that when sun is there, moon is present too, but only we cannot see the moon due to the sun’s brightness. please suggest some easy activities in a written form. thank you
No, I’m sorry, I don’t!
I had not tried but I think what about if we try to simulate with a small clear marble? It is just an idea..
Your ideas are awesome. Thank you for sharing.
Your idea of making solar system and constellation of stars is really good .This is an innovated idea i will share the same with my science teacher.