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Looking for some fun Space teaching ideas for kids? These ideas could be used to make a fun space unit for kids! My kids have really been interested in space lately, so they were pretty excited to learn more about it.
Space Unit for Kids
I started the lesson by reading the kids a book called Me and My Place in Space by Joan Sweeney and illustrated by Annette Cable. It is a cute book about the solar system and planets. After the story we put our own planets in order. I put together a printable cut-out solar system. We spread them out on the floor and figured out the order.
Next we talked a little about how big the solar system is and how far apart the planets are. I did this with a fun activity using a roll of toilet paper. We rolled out 100 sheets of toilet paper and put the planet cut-outs on the different squares.
This makes a scale model of the solar system scaled down to 100 squares. They LOVED this!
Just roll out 100 squares of toilet paper (this is less than 1 roll). Then use my instructions int he printable to see how far apart each planet is from the sun.
My kids wanted to separate the squares, but it is not necessary. It stays together and does not blow away as easily if you keep it all in one pice.
Download my planets & instructions here:
Here are the measurements if you want to try this out (or grab the instructions & planets in the printable.)
First you put the sun down.
Then 1 square away is Mercury
Venus is at 1.8 squares from the sun
Earth is at 2.5 squares
Mars is at 3.8 squares
Jupiter is at 13.2 squares
Saturn is at 24.2 squares
Uranus is at 48.6 squares
Neptue is at 76.3 squares
Pluto is at 100 squares
I taught the kids about Copernicus and Galileo and how they figured out that the planets rotate around the sun and not the other way around.
The final thing we did in our space unit for kids was learn a little about constellations. I have a great book called The Kids Book of the Night Sky by Anne Love and Jane Drake, and illustrated by Heather Collins. It has mythological stories about where the constellation names and pictures come from. It also teaches about different constellations and shows the stars at all different seasons of the year. It has some fun learning activities in it as well.
If you are looking for a good kids book about astronomy, I highly recommend this one! We really like it. I read a few thing to the kids from this book to the kids so they could learn some of the stories.
I found some really cute printable constellation cards from Mrs. Home Economist. There are six different constellations. I printed these out and punched out the holes. Then I gave the kids a sheet of blue or black construction paper. I had them copy the constellations on their papers with a yellow or white crayon by coloring dots where I punched the holes.
Then they did a dot-to-dot and connected the constellations. We put star stickers on the dots. They kids really enjoyed making their own constellations. They especially liked learning the stories about the ones they were making. I heard lots of kids telling their moms about the constellation that they made.
I have a great ipad app called Star Walk that I pulled up to show them the constellations as well. They were so fascinated by this! It has beautiful images of the sky.
It turned out to be a really fun activity that I think the kids will remember. It will also spark their interest and make them want to learn more about the sky!