Do your kids love space? Are they a budding Astronaut?
Do you want to inspire your children about science, space and the universe?
Here are some of our favourite Space themed activities, creative ideas and inspiration to help children with their space topic, learn about astronauts or just have some out of this world fun!!
1/ NASA Training Obstacle Course
Astronauts need to be very fit and physically active.
Set up an obstacle course and have the children complete it. Vary it with time challenges.
You can even get the children to set up their own obstacle courses and each one of you has to do each others.
Some ideas for obstacles are:
- Jumping on a pile of cushions or pillows.
- Crawl under or over a row of chairs.
- Walk on a balance board.
- Throw a beanbag into a laundry basket.
- Limbo under different height bars.
- Shoot a rocket through a hoop or a target.
- Run while balancing a beanbag on your head.
- Karate chop an invader (you can use a cushion or bop bag for the invader)
- Climb through a tunnel
- Weave in and out of cones ( cones can be made from anything)
- Stack up cardboard boxes to make wall, Bust through the wall!
- Spinning round
- Running through hula hoops
- Jumping over things of different heights.
- Squeezing through a thing space created by objects.
- Do a ring toss.
- Run whilst balancing a bean bag or similar on your head.
- Do a handstand.
- Do 10 star jumps
2/ Meteor Catch
Wrap a styrofoam ball in aluminum foil. Attach crepe paper for tails. Toss back and forth.
3/ Martian rock scramble game
This is best played with more than one child.
You’ll need an adult Martian volunteer, a bag of treats, and some Martian rocks. Martian rocks can be made by wrapping a sweet or small prize in aluminum foil.
One child is the Martian and the other (s) are the outer space explorers. The outer space explorers must try to collect as many Martian rocks as they can and race them back to their ship, but they must beware of the Martian. The Martian is guarding the Martian rocks and if he tags an explorer they must drop any Martian rocks they have and run back to their space shuttles. When all the rocks have been collected the explorers can open them up and share the prizes inside.
To play have the Martian stand in the middle of the playing area surrounded by the Martian rocks. The little explorers wait on either side until the word GO. Their shuttle can be a basket or bucket to collect their rocks in.
4/ Rocket Shuttle Landing
Give your children a pile of paper and instructions for how to make paper aeroplanes. You could watch some videos to inspire the paper plane making here
Or you could create a competition of creating the best paper aeroplane design.
Once they have made their aeroplanes then hang a hula hoop from the ceiling and the children can then practice flying their shuttles by trying to fly them through the hoop. They can start close and get farther and farther away.
5/ Moon Walking
Place pillows all over the floor. Then cover the pillows and floor with a sheet. Attach x-large sized thick sponges to the children’s feet with rubber bands for space shoes. Let the children walk over the area. You can even play space walk music for additional dramatic effect!
Imaginative play games
6/ Make dress up clothing for space
You can buy astronaut costumes and helmets but it is more fun to make your own!
A large white t-shirt can work as a spacesuit. You can make it fancier by adding strips of silver tape or a flag that you make and add to it. Inexpensive disposable painting coveralls can also be good to decorate and use.
You can buy velcro cheaply and use this to attach tools to the space suit (children can make the tools too)
7/. Dramatic play space trip
We are big believers in imaginative play, with whatever theme or topic of study children are doing. What can be more fun that having a pretend trip to outer space? Children can pretend to pack all necessary items, put on their uniforms (as created in the idea above) and get into a spaceship. You can explain lack of gravity and its relationship to movement and then challenge the children to walk, run, skip, hop, gallop, leap, and crawl through space.
You could go for a nature walk on the moon and see what kinds of imaginary items children discover.
A great calm down activity for ending you session is to land back on earth, have them lit down and close their eyes and try to remember what life forms looked like and what they saw.
They can then open their eyes and draw what they saw or if they are younger you can write it down for them.
8/ Goodnight Moon
Read the story “Goodnight Moon”, and then set up objects set up like the book. You can doing this as an evening activity or before bed and your child can use a torch to shine on all the objects as you retell the story.
Space theme craft and make activities
9/ Telescope Craft
Decorate a toilet paper roll . Child can then look through it and pretend they see various objects in space.
10/ Paper Plate Planets
Cut paper plates into different sizes to represent each planet. Children can make their paper plat planet creations accurate to actual planets or be creative with their own ideas and use crayons, markers, paint or whatever craft items you have to decorate them.
11/ Planet Seriation
Using the paper plate planets, that are representations of the planets in our galaxy, and have children arrange planets in order from smallest to largest.
12/ Paper plate astronauts
Use paper plates as a base to create some astronaut faces!
13/ Make Your Own Mood Sand
You will need:
- 6 cups of play sand (preferably colored sand)
- 1 1/2 cups of cold water
- 3 cups of cornflour
Mix the sand and cornflour together. Add water, and mix everything together with your hands. Work through until you no longer see the white cornflour. Add toys or mold into shapes. Store in airtight container.
Note – You may have to add a couple teaspoons of water the next time you play with moon sand.
14/ Make Moon Craters
Cover bubble wrap with plaster of paris or paper mache’. Let dry and peel off. Then paint.
15/ Make Star Cards
Paint glue on index cards and scatter celestial glitter and confetti.
16/ Rocket Launch
Place an Alka-Seltzer Tablet and a little water in a 35mm film cartridge and close the lid tightly. Place this on the floor and stand back. The top will very soon launch (the pressure from the gas causes the lid to pop off and fly about chest high).
17/ Make your own Robots
Build Robots from various boxes and tubes. After they are dry, paint them with gold paint(or silver).
18/ Make you own Space Helmet
You will need: a bag, straws, crayons or markers, long underwear, cereal or oatmeal box, yarn, paper towel tubes, cutting implements (for adult use only) and tape.
Make your space helmet out of a paper bag or smallish square box. Glue or tape on straws to simulate wires, tubes, and other important gizmos one would expect to find on a space suit. (You can also draw them with crayons or markers.) The suit can consist of long underwear or pj’s.
Make an air tank out of an oatmeal or cereal box.
Make shoulder straps out of yarn or string (careful with young children). To make an air hose, tape several paper towel tubes together (slit the ends to make it easier to combine them), then make cuts every inch or two that almost pass through the tube. Tape one end to the air tank and the other to the helmet.
Paint and strap on with tape or string. Blast off!
19/ “Moon Rock” Sorting
Go out for a walk and gather a collection of different sized rocks. Have children sort rocks by color, size, etc.
20/ “Moon Rock” Counting
Get a collection of different rocks. Using a muffin tin, label the bottom of a each muffin section with a number. Have children count that many rocks and put into the numbered muffin tin section.
21/ Make a glove box
22/ Make a constellation craft picture
You can do your own constellation creations using stickers, paint or drawing. There is a great step by step for doing a great constellation picture here
Food based games for space fun
23/ Make Astronaut Pudding
Make Astronaut Pudding by putting 1 tablespoon of chocolate Angel delight or instant whip pudding in a ziploc bag. Add 1/4 cup of milk. Close the bag. Squish up the pudding mix. Poke a hole in the bag and suck it out. Eat just like the astronauts with no utensils!
24/ Make a space ocean you can eat
Get all your favourite gummy sweets for this one! Its fun to make and you can eat it after!
25/ Oreo cookie moons!
What goes better with Oreos than a glass of milk? How about a little bit of moon science?
Do the learning and then eat them afterwards – perfect!
Printables and resources
You might also like the Space themed Intergalactic treasure hunt activity pack – interactive fun game to download, presented by Buzz the Astronaut!
For a week of Space themed fun join Astronaut Buzz for his Space Escape week; LIVE and interactive February 8th – 11th….find out more and register your young astronaut in training here