Last few weeks we have talked a lot about space, stars, day-night transitions, moon, sun, planets, and so on. Our discussions were primarily based on the book I Love Space, which we got free from our library as part of the summer reading club. Honestly, this is a topic we as parents will keep talking about for a long time, but here is the list of some very interesting activities to get children interested in the concept of space.
- Space Rocket – 20-25 minutes
When we read the book, the girls were really fascinated with the space rocket. It mostly was because there were two kids shown in the book who were sitting in the rocket. So they were excited about the probability of sitting in the rocket themselves. So, we decided to make a rocket. Honestly, with a certification exam on my head, I had no time to gather many materials. I worked with materials that were easy to grab.
- BODY: For the body, we used empty tissue rolls stickers.
- FIRE: For fire, we used construction paper which I always have ample at home.
- DESIGN: And of course the stickers of different shapes – this also helped them identify different shapes before sticking them onto the rocket.
Some things that we talked about while making the rocket:
- What gives rocket energy?
- Why do we have fire below the rocket?
- Who sits in the rocket?
- What clothes they wear?
- Where does rocket stay?
2. Telescope and Star Constellations – 20-30 minutes
This book does show a telescope. However, it does not talk about star constellations – this was an add on we did based on the other stuff we have been reading on space. This activity is super easy and can be made into two activities, depending on the time you have on hand. We did it all together as girls were very excited – so much that I still recall the dreadful twin fight post this activity ;).
We used cardboard from an old diaper box and some sticks to make the telescope. I drew the shapes and then helped the girls cut each shape one by one based on the design in the book. We used simple glue and tape for sticking everything together. We also talked about what we can see with other tools like a binocular and microscope.
Once we had the telescope in place, we talked about what we can see with the telescope. Of course, stars and more. So we then made four types of star constellations. I drew the shapes with a pencil and then made circles where I wanted them to stick the stars.
What you see below if the final product. We have this on view in our art room so that we can revisit the star constellation names and construction whenever time and interest permits.
3. Book Reading
National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space – this is a book for keeps. I got a very good deal on this book and it was a week when we were exploring space. So why not! It is a bit advance for a 2-3 year toddler, but if you sit and explain it to kids, they will thoroughly enjoy it. Worth buying!
Another book you can read with your kids is We Are Here – Notes for Living on Planet Earth. A beautiful book talking about our planet’s terrain (bumpy, sharp, wet), a deep look at our place in space (it’s big), and a guide to all of humanity (we are all people). It is a book for instilling a value system of kindness and tolerance in children. I really liked it.
4. Moon Phases – 15 minutes
Expanding on our space exploration week, we made phases of the moon based on the Nat Geo book mentioned above. I am so glad I did this activity with them. Girls have started pointing out to the moon and identifying the type of moon it is – the best feedback is to see your child applying their knowledge.
Super simple activity, took us about 20 minutes from start to end. We used the following materials:
- Black construction paper
- White cotton
5. Stickers on Astronomy – 15 minutes
I must have mentioned this in one of my earlier posts- My girls love stickers. I recently got this sticker book – STEM Sticker Adventure from Amazon. It has sticker activities on topics like space exploration, deep-sea adventure, dinosaur dig, etc. The book is for 4 years and up but my girls did just fine and it is worth the try. I don’t know why they mentioned 4 years and upon the cover!
6. Creating Mother Earth – 20 minutes
One of the last activities in this “space” was creating Mother Earth. The goal for this activity was to allow the girls to explore different materials. I relied on minimalistic and easy approach. We went out for a walk with a “nature basket” and talked about the giving nature of Mother Earth. We then picked up the fallen leaves, pine cones, etc, basically whatever the girls wanted to pick up as far as it was safe. Other materials we used were:
- Cardboard for creating the circle shape
- Cotton for snow
- Q-tips for painting water
- Materials collected in the nature basket
I think with all these activities, and some more, we have two interested kids ready to explore more about space, earth, and other possibilities.
Do let me know in the comments if you have tried any of these with your kids and what was their experience. Until the next book, stay safe and stay healthy.