Space Project Ideas
We’ve had great fun learning about space recently, so we decided to come up with some ideas for a space project. The children already know quite a bit after visiting the Planetarium at Glasgow Science Centre and visiting Dynamic Earth. Plus they have plenty of books about space topics!
Have a read of our space project ideas.
Solar System Model
One of the must do activities for a space project is making your own solar system. We bought a set of polystyrene balls in different sizes and used these to make our DIY solar system. The largest ball was painted to be the sun, the smallest 2 were chosen to be Mercury and Mars. The next size up was Venus and Earth, the second largest diameter were decorated as Saturn and Jupiter. Finally the medium sized balls are Uranus and Neptune. We checked out the colours of the planets online before painting. Although littlest chose to do his own interpretation of this anyway.
To paint the planets we poked skewers through them to hold them safely. Then popped the skewers in an upside down colander to let the planets dry. Once dry we made rings out of card for Saturn and Uranus and pushed onto the planets. A small piece of toilet roll was cut out and glued onto a black piece of card, then the sun glued onto the toilet roll to keep it in place. When the glue on the sun was dry we cut the skewers to different lengths depending on how close the planet was to the sun and poked them into the sun.
Finally I wrote out the labels for littlest (the 8 year old made his own labels) and he glued them below each planet. It’s quite impressive for not too much work!
The planet biscuits were very easy to make, simple sugar biscuits cut into circles with a cutter. We used butter icing to make the different planets, although we were limited in colour range. It may be better to use fondant icing for deeper colours and more precise lines etc.
The 8 year old tried to make his a bit more accurate, although the icing was hard to control. Whilst the youngest chose to make up new planet designs.
Fizzy Moon Rocks
I found this online, but I’m not sure where from? It combines the children’s favourite experiment, which involves Bicarbonate of Soda and vinegar reacting to fizz! They often use this mix to make volcanoes erupt.
We simply mixed some black food colouring and water together with bicarbonate of soda and formed ball shapes. The children used pipettes to suck up vinegar and squirt on the ‘moon’ rocks to make them fizz and dissolve.
ISS YouTube Tour
There are lots of great space documentaries on both the television (the Sky at Night series on the BBC is very interesting) and YouTube. We decided to explore the tours of the ISS available on YouTube. There are quite a few by different astronauts exploring the different parts of the space station and showing how gravity affects how they live. The kids were particularly interested in the effect of gravity and water.
The kids have astronaut costumes which they’ve had for several years now and can only just still squeeze into! But they wanted to make their own helmets, so we upcycled some cardboard to create them. I don’t have pictures of the process, but basically you cut a large circle out of a flat cardboard box. Then cut line 3/4 of the way to the middle all the way round. Once these lines are cut you can fold the sections down and tape together with masking tape to get a dome shape. Cut an arch out so that the kids can see and tape over the edges so they’re not sharp. The kids painted it in their chosen colour and attached a piece of plastic for the visor. The plastic was taken from my Easter egg packaging. Finally you can add extra decoration and if you felt like it, oxygen tanks etc. to make it more realistic.
DIY Space Food
We’ve been watching Maddie and Greg on Let’s Go Live, which is a great YouTube show for kids. Their second week was space themed and the kids particularly enjoyed making ‘space food’ like Maddie and Greg.
It’s basically making a dry mix of food that you can add water to and then eat out of the bag. The kids chose to make a pudding like Maddie and Greg’s. Although ours was made from icing sugar, oats, food colouring and peppermint flavouring. We didn’t have much choice in ingredients due to lockdown!
The kids added a little water into the bag and mixed it all together to create their ‘space pudding’.
Space Rocket Shooter
The final activity involved making space rocket shooters! I downloaded the rockets from Six Clever Sisters and printed them for the kids to cut out. I did need to help with taping the two sides of the rocket together, but it was worth it as they spent a long time using straws to blow the rockets into the air!
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