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Space STEM: Shooting Star Spinner Toy

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Make a homemade space STEM toy that spins with kinetic energy! No batteries required!  This Shooting Star Spinner Toy is made from recycled materials and is a great project to go with any space themed lessons!

How to Make the Shooting Star Spinner Toy:

You will need the following items:
Small Plastic Bottle
2 Large Rubber Bands and one smaller one
2 Jumbo Paper Clips
Yellow Cellophane
Cardboard Star
Black Construction Paper
White &/or Yellow Paint


We started by painting stars on the black construction paper to make it look like space. My son used a q-tip and dotted paints on the black construction paper. He did a mix of yellow and white dots.

Cut a star out of a piece of thick cardboard and wrap a piece of yellow cellophane around it. Secure with a small rubber band. Cut the ends of the cellophane to make the tail of the shooting star.

Using a screwdriver or an ice pick make a hole in the bottom of the bottle as well as in the lid of the bottle. The hole in the lid is easy to make. The one on the bottom of the bottle was more challenging. I ended up using a drill to make ours.

Loop the two large rubber bands together. Attach a paperclip to the end of one. Put it through the hole in the bottom of the bottle.

Unwrap the other paper clip and make a small hook at the end. Reach into the bottle and grab ahold of the other end of the rubber band. This part is a little tricky!!  Tighten the hook to hold the rubber band in place.  Put the wire through the hole in the lid and bend it at a right angle so it lays flat over the lid.  Wrap the end of the wire around the star.

Once it is dry, trim the painted paper to fit the size of your bottle and tape it to the bottle to make it look like space!

To play with the shooting star spinner toy twist the star until the rubber band is wound really tight. When you let go, it will spin around as it unwinds.


What are the learning principles behind this Space STEM experiment?

It is a fun little engineering project.  Also this project is teaching science concepts. This is an example of potential and kinetic energy. As you are winding it up it is potential energy, and when you let go and it is moving, it turns into kinetic energy! Potential energy is the energy stored within something while kinetic energy is the energy of motion.


The Shooting Star Spinner Toy is part of the Weekly Virtual Book Club for Kids series. This week’s theme is Space!  Also, here are the themes for the rest of the month. If you want to be a part of it, join the Virtual Book Club Facebook Group for more ideas and discussions on the topic.

The book for the week is How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers. It is an adorable one that little kids will love!

Check out some of my past posts about Space:

Star Viewer Craft & Galileo Learning Ideas (Another cool Space STEM project)
Printable Constellation Cards
Space Unit for Kids (Measure the distance between the planets, plus great book recommendations)
All About Outer Space

See what the other participating bloggers shared this week:

Building Space Words – My Storytime Corner
Star Blends Puzzles – Sea of Knowledge
Edible Mars Soil Space Experiment – Preschool Powol Packets
DIY Cardboard Space Shuttle – Mama Smiles
Printable Constellation Mats by JDaniel4’s Mom
Solar System Sensory Bottle – Inspiration Laboratories
Create Your Own Star Stamps by The Educators’ Spin On It

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