As a tribute to National 🚀Space Day, which is held annually on the first Friday in May, we are making a DIY Solar System craft from homemade no-cook natural play dough.
To explore our solar system and the planets, we read National Geographic Kids First Big Book of Space which is kids' absolute favorite Space book with colorful illustrations and simple text, explaining basic concepts of the universe as well as its wonders!
First, to resemble Space, Adrian made black play dough. ( See the recipe and details on how to make this natural play dough here ~in a post "No-Cook Homemade 🌈 Play Dough Recipe.")
Next, apply glue to a large cardboard piece and spread the black playdough over it.
Leave empty the space for the sun as it will be easier to glue the Sun to the cardboard rather than over the play dough.
To resemble our universe and the sparkling twinkling stars, galaxies, and supernovas, we are adding glitter to our black play dough.
Glue the Sun to the part of cardboard that has no play dough.
Make each planet (by spreading the play dough over the cutout cardboard piece) according to planet's characteristics, such as size, color, surface.
Finally, arrange the planets in order: 1) Mercury, 2) Venus, 3) Earth, 4) Mars, 5) Jupiter, 6) Saturn, 7) Uranius, 8) Neptune. Discuss the four terrestrial planets, separated by the asteroid belt from the four gas giants. Bring child's attention to any distinguishable planetary detail: such as The Great Red Spot on Jupiter (a huge storm raging on for hundreds of years) or Neptune's The Great Dark Spot (a huge spinning storm in the southern atmosphere of Neptune which was about the size of the entire Earth).
You can also discuss the solar flares and winds and how the Earth's magnetic field interacts with the solar wind and acts as a shield to protect Earth from damaging solar particles. See a video from NOVA’s Sun Lab here.
We also watched an amazing series NOVA – Origins which presented some startling new answers to questions such as "Has the universe always existed? How did it become a place that could harbor life? Are we alone, or are there alien worlds waiting to be discovered?" Both, Julia ( 8 yo) and Adrian (4 yo) were absolutely intrigued and engulfed in this miniseries ~an absolute must-have DVD for any inquisitive child (or an adult)!
Please, see our entire Space and Universe round up here ~ in a post "🌌Cosmos 🚀Space ☄️Universe Inspired Themed Unit Study."