Monday, July 4, 2016

Outer Space Playdate

Outer Space Playdate:
Toilet paper rockets
Space Word Books
Astronaut helmets
Felt Solar System
Moon Crater Toss
Astronaut Training
Snack: Moon rice cakes
Extra Activity: Astronaut Food Taste Test

Toilet Paper Rockets:
Toilet paper roll
Red and orange tissue paper strips
Gray or silver tissue paper or foil
Space stickers (stars, planets, NASA, U.S. flag, etc…)
Scissors and glue
Astronaut figurine
Clothes pins (1 per rocket)
Cardstock paper (I used gold glitter, but you can use anything that is relatively thick)
I started by prepping the toilet paper rolls for the kids. I cut a square hole on the top of the toilet paper roll for the astronaut to slide into. I then wrapped the toilet paper roll in foil or silver tissue paper and tucked the excess inside the ends of the roll. I also glued a triangle shaped cardstock cut out onto the bottom of the toilet paper as the rocket wings. I attached a clothes pin to the bottom of the rocket for gluing the tissue paper strips on as rocket fire.
Once all the kids got together, I had them assemble the rest. They glued the tissue paper strips inside the bottom end of the toilet paper roll as the rocket fire.

They painted the rockets, put stickers on them, and added their astronaut in. If you have a fan, have them put the finished product in front of it for the wind to pass through and blow the tissue paper around! I attached some string from one end of the pavilion to the other, where we were doing the playdate, and had the kids fly their rocket across the pavilion! They will love it!
Space Word Book:
Black construction paper (roughly 10 sheets)
Additional colorful construction paper
White chalk
Space stickers (stars, planets, etc…)
Glue and scissors
I assembled the books for the kids ahead of time. I put several sheets of black construction paper together and stapled it into a book. Next I came up with a variety of space words and wrote them one per page.  I cut out outlines of the space words using the construction paper.
When we all got together, the kids were able to put together their little space book. We wrote their names on the front and went page by page, gluing the construction paper cut outs and going over what each picture was. They added space stickers and anything else they wanted to decorate their book.
Astronaut Helmets:
Paper bags
White and black paint
Scissors and glue

These were so cute! I started by drawing an astronaut helmet outline on the front of each paper bag. Then I precut a viewing hole for the kids. I think painting the helmet white made it really pop when the kids wore it, but you can use white construction paper as well. The kids were able to decorate the helmet by writing their name, painting it, adding stickers, etc… Then we practice counting down from 10 to 1 and lifting off into outer space!
Felt Solar System:
Large piece of black felt (2’x3’ for example)
Several colorful pieces of felt (for planets and sun)
Fabric glue
Wooden dowel
I have been practicing the planets with my one and two year old and surprisingly they are really picking it up! So I made a hands-on solar system for them.

Start by cutting out your planets using the colorful pieces of felt. You may want to use an image online to model your planets design and size after. Use the fabric glue to attach rings on Saturn, for example, or a spot on Jupiter.
To hang it roll the top of your black felt piece around the wooden dowel and glue of sew it on. Tie your string around the ends of the dowel and hang on your wall with a tack.
Have your kids practice putting the planets in their order and going over their names!

Moon Space Toss:
Foil circular pan (I found a round serving pan at Walmart)
White sand
Gray or silver rocks (or you could use small aluminum foil balls)
Fill the foil circular pan with the white sand. Smooth it out as best as possible.
Make a line on the ground for the kids to stand behind. Have them toss the rocks at the pan to create their own moon craters!
Astronaut Training:
On a large piece of cement, draw out the layout below with some chalk. Have the kids put on their astronaut helmets, count down from 10 to 1 and start the obstacle course! Each station includes an activity to further their development as the next astronaut!
Colorful chalk
Hula hoop
Moon rocks (foil crumbled into a ball)
Small football
Snack: Moon Rice Cakes
Rice cake (any flavor, but preferably white in color)
Banana slices
Peanut butter
Optional: an American flag on a tooth pick
To assemble, lay the rice cake out on a baking sheet. Place about 3-4 banana slices and scatter several Cheerios on top to act as craters. You can leave the toppings as is on top or attach them with peanut butter as the glue. Finally top with your American flag tooth pick and serve!
Extra Activity:
Astronaut Food Taste Test:
My kids were a little too young for this, but it would be fun for kids maybe 4 and up. Buy some astronaut food, they have variety packs you can purchase on, and allow the kids to taste one type of food at a time. Have them guess the type of food! Maybe even have them wear their newly made astronaut helmets!

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