Outer Space Science

Tie yarn at one end to a washer and the other end to a Popsicle stick. Tell the children the stick is the Sun and the washer is a planet. Discuss how the planets orbit the sun. Have the children spin their yarn to depict the planets rotating the sun.

You need a large box lid (such as a shirt box) Cover the bottom entirely with black construction paper. Have the children pin-dot glue and then sprinkle glitter on the glue for “stars”. Next we took modeling clay, and using proper dimensions, made each of the planets with a different color (sun=yellow, earth = green, Uranus = blue, etc.) and of the proper proportionate size. Put the modeling clay planets right on the black paper and stars. It is a neat project and one that really impresses both the kids and the parents.

Outer space “telescopes”: Using the cardboard inner tube from paper towels, place two layers of black tissue paper (dark blue will do in a pinch but isn’t as good) over one end of the tube and fasten with a rubber band or tape. Using a straightened out paper clip, poke holes in the tissue paper (quite a few holes are needed and this is something the children enjoy doing). When you look into the open end of the tube and point it up toward a light or window, it looks as though you’re seeing a galaxy with lots of “stars”. It really works!

I placed inexpensive hair gel into a Ziploc bag. I also put glitter and stars in the bag. I then placed another bag over it and glued it shut. They were placed on the science table and the children loved them.

Moon dust: flour with a little black or gray chalk powder, kids love the texture, but it gets a bit messy.

Balloon rockets: suspend a string across the room, attach a long balloon to a straw and thread it onto the string. let go and watch it zoom. Younger preschoolers also enjoy letting the balloon go without attaching it to anything. Another way is to get the paper cone water cups and an air pump. Children can set the cup on the nozzle and watch it fly up in the air as they pump.