Make this Solar System for Preschoolers and have your preschooler take the astronaut on a planet adventure! All it takes is a few items you have laying around the house!
We have been doing Space Week at our house. We took a 3-day break from it (you know, mom life. It happens). But, we continued the out-of-this-world fun yesterday by making an interactive Solar System for Preschoolers! Now, my kiddos get to learn about the solar system and move a little astronaut to each planet as I read a solar system book to them!
My husband said, “That’s a giant astronaut!” I giggled, “Well, if I made it to scale, he’d be a tiny dot.” My daughter keeps calling the astronaut a baby astronaut. So, I think it’s toddler-approved. It’s just for some learning fun anyway.
Below I’m sharing what I used to make it and how.
Solar System for Preschoolers – Materials
- Hello, World Solar System (affiliate link for your convenience or any solar system book you have)
- Shoe Box
- Black Paint
- White Paint
- Hot Glue
- Glue Gun
- Pom Poms (various sizes)
- Pipe Cleaners
- Yellow Cardstock
- Foam Brush
- Fine-tip Paint Brush
Solar System for Preschoolers – Directions
Step 1. Paint the bottom of your shoe box black using the foam brush. I tried stroking it with black paint first, but it was streaky. So, I dabbed the paint on and that worked much better. Let the paint dry or blow dry it dry.
Step 2. Cut a circle out of the yellow cardstock for the sun and layout all your circle items (pom poms, cork, buttons or whatever on the box). You want to get an idea of how far you need to space the planets before gluing them on.
My planet creation notes:
- I used a piece of cork I sliced with a knife for Mercury (it’s a brown planet and I didn’t have a brown pom pom). Feel free to used whatever you have. You can even cut a small circle out of brown cardboard or cardstock.
- I used playdough for Saturn and Uranus. I don’t recommend that. The playdough dries. The next day it was cracked. So, I will be replacing those with larger pom poms, once I visit the craft store again.
- Saturn and Uranus have rings. So, I cut a pipe cleaner in half and wrapped it around. Saturn’s rings are horizontal. Uranus rings are vertical.
- For Earth, I used a blue and green pom pom. I cut the pom poms in half and glued them together.
- Jupiter is the largest planet. So, I used the biggest pom pom I had.
Step 3. Hot glue your planets on.
Step 4. Using your fine-tip paint brush, paint white dots around the planets. These are the stars! Let the paint dry or blow dry it dry. I labeled the planets too. You can skip this step, if you want.
Step 5. Draw an astronaut on the lid of the shoe box. Color it or paint it. Then, cut it out.
Step 6. Measure a strip of ribbon. You want the ribbon to reach Mercury. I taped the ribbon to the inside of the box closest to Neptune.
Step 7. Tape the other side of the ribbon to the back of the astronaut.
Step 8. Play with the solar system! Have your preschooler move the astronaut to the different planets!
Activity Suggestion: Play Can You Find the Planet? Read your Solar System book to your preschooler. As you read about each planet, have him find the that planet by moving the astronaut to it. When your preschooler finds the planet, say, “You found Jupiter! You’re a great astronaut!”
Tried the craft? Tag us in a pic on Instagram (@themamaworkshop ). We’d love to see all the solar system fun you’re having!
Please note: The Mama Workshop is not a credentialed teacher. This is simply an activity to do to supplement your child’s learning.