Space the final frontier..... or more like the first frontier as this the first time we have approached the subject with Button. Originally we were going to just do Planets, and a large focus was one them, but we opened it up to the broader topic with fantastic results. Button really bought into it and has done well at learning some of the Planets' names. This is a vast topic and we used a wonderful Usbourne lift and flap book about space, Youtube and a variety of apps as reference and inspiration. We even used google cardboard for a 3D visit to our solar system. It is great that Button has got so much from this topic and the best news is there is so much to do in the future when we return to it. Once she has a bit more background knowledge, then roleplay could become a big lesson. We will probably use our pool and Button's trampoline to simulate weightlessness and the possibilities are endless. Id also like to camp out in the garden and look at the stars with Button. So definately not final... instead the first step of many for Button, a giant leap for our home school journey.
Planet sun catchers
Materials- coffee filters
1. Cut ur coffee filters into circles of all different sizes. (Research sizes if u want accuracy)
2. Colour in pen. Don't worry if they can't colour the whole thing as it will run when wet.
3. Put your coloured planet in plastic tub. Spray the water, tilt the filters to run the water a bit and leave to dry on some foil (newspaper would stick and transfer its own ink)
4. Once dry u can attach them to the window. We laminated them and then stuck the sheet to the window.
Button loved this activity because we did it together. We knew that she would get bored colouring all of them herself so we did some with her. We spoke about different planets and highlighted some facts on each of them. When it came to spraying them, she got very excited and we watched as all the colours started running into each other. She loved it so much she invented her own planet as well. When they had dried we laminated them ready for the morning. She loved them against the window and kept asking more questions about space and planets. They looked fantastic with the sun behind them, but also amazing at night with the light on and the black night sky behind.
Paper mache planet
I let Button pick the planet she wanted to make. Which ever planet your little one was make, you will need tissue paper in those colours.
Old paint brush
1.Mix the glue and water together
2. Blow up a balloon to a planet shape.
3. Start to add glue to the balloon and then stick the tissue paper to it. You need to make sure all the tissue paper is wet with glue so it sticks and forms a hard layer when dry.
4. Once completely covered, leave to dry. Depending on age and attention span once dried you may want to do another layer.
Note: the ink for the tissue paper will stain your fingers, so if ur going out somewhere special after maybe leave this for another day or wear disposable gloves. We did it in the morning and by the end of the day most of it had come off with my constant washing throughout the day.
I did worry this could be a bit too messy and long winded for Button so decided to only do one layer and was prepared to get messy to help. She loved it. Her little face while she was concentrating was amazing to watch. She covered the whole balloon and the end result is great.
Card (cut in to circles)
Tin foil dish (£1 shop)
1. Add the foam to the bottom of the tin foil dish and use the Spatula to smooth it out.
2.Add the paint in stripe patterns.
3. Use the tooth pick to swirl the paint around. Try and cover as much of the foam in paint as you can.
4. Then push the card into the foam.
5. Leave them to dry for a few minutes then remove any excess foam. (We didn't do this on all of them as we like the texture, but can take longer to dry)
6. Then mount on black card for full effect.
Tip: to use less tins try and use similar colours for more than one planet. So we did Jupiter first then added a tiny bit of red for Venus and saturn and then a lot of red for Mars. So one tin made four planets. Mercury and pluto can be made from one tin and earth, Uranus and Neptune can be made from one. So three tins all together.
Button enjoyed this activity a lot. The best thing about this is it didn't matter now much she swirled and seemingly messed it all up because it just makes the planets look better. She loved seeing the end results.
Baking soda (lots)
Black food colouring or liquid paint
Add the baking soda to the tin dish and then slowly add a little water, glitter and black food colouring. Don't add to much water as it will make the baking soda dissolve. You just need
enough to help form them into balls (Moon rocks).
Once they are made and the children have had enough playing with the mixture. Let them add the vinegar to see what happens.
Button loved making the rocks she made big ones and small ones then broke them up and started again. Once she was happy we introduced the vinegar. She would have loved this if it didn't smell like vinegar. She has an issue with smells and unfortunately this put her off. We ended up burning incense nearby to try and hide the smell of vinegar. She liked watching them fizz and disappear but the smell got to her in the end and we stopped.
Race to the moon
I made this game up. It was a simple track from the earth to the moon. This was to help her count to 20. On the way you could land on a booster card (which was a star) this would let you move
forward one space because of different events. For example: a star bumps you and helps you move forward one space.
But you could also land on an alien attack card and this would make you miss a go. So for example: an alien lost his shoe and asks for help. Miss a go.
I used peg dolls to make three astronauts. But u could use toy astronauts or just counters.
We all really enjoyed this game and played it twice. Dad won the first game and Button won the second. We will definitely keep it and play it again.
The noticeboard really came into its own for our space theme. We began by hanging some small model planets we had across it, and then sticking some flash cards that mum had printed alongside. This started to help Button visualise the differences and become familiar with the names.
From that simple start, it became a canvas for Button as she did each art and craft. Up went our blow rockets and photo astronauts. Her paper mache Earth was hung on it and perhaps most impressive were the foam painted planets which then replaced the flash cards.
Also, for much of the Space fortnight, Mum created a Small World moon surface on the fireplace base for Button to play with whenever she wanted using her astronaut figures.
All in all it looked great, worked well for Button and become an impressive centre piece for our living room that I am probably going to miss.