Use space-themed hanging mobiles to decorate the bedroom of a budding astronaut and teach kids about the world beyond the planet Earth. Space-themed mobiles can be made in an afternoon and can teach children that there is a vast universe outside of the world they know waiting to be explored. Spark your child's imagination and create a homemade ceiling decoration for his bedroom with this simple, space-themed craft. Increase the complexity and accuracy of the space-themed mobile to make this activity appropriate for older children.
Place your cardboard circle on top of your construction paper and trace around the edge. Black construction paper is recommended for a true outer-space theme. Reposition the cardboard circle and trace a second circle onto the construction paper. Cut out both construction paper circles.
Glue the two construction paper circles onto either side of the cardboard circle, covering it completely. Paint small dots of glow-in-the-dark paint on one side of the circle to represent stars off in the distance.
Use a paper punch to punch three holes through the cardboard circle. Position the three holes 1 inch in from the outer edge of the circle. Space the holes evenly apart from each other, such as at the 12 o'clock, 4 o'clock and 8 o'clock positions.
Cut three pieces of string approximately 18 inches in length. Tie a knot at one end of each string. Thread the other end of each string up through one of the three holes. The knot will keep the string from pulling through the hole all the way. The knots should rest on the same side of the cardboard circle that is painted with distant glow-in-the-dark stars. Bring the three strings together approximately 12 inches above the centre of the cardboard circle and knot them together. Use the excess strings above the knot to tie a loop for hanging your mobile.
Punch additional holes in the cardboard at various locations. Punch approximately 10-12 holes and space them at least 2.5 inches apart from one another. Cut one string for each hole. Vary the strings in length between 6 inches and 12 inches. Tie a knot at one end of each string. Thread one string through each hole, with the knot on the same side of the cardboard circle as the loop for hanging your mobile. The knots will keep the strings from pulling all the way through the cardboard circle.
Draw space-themed shapes on construction paper and decorate them with markers. Some suggestions for space-themed shapes include planets, rocket ships, stars, spirals for galaxies, meteors and even aliens. Space-themed cut-outs also can be purchased at craft or scrapbook stores. Embellish your space-themed shapes with glow-in-the-dark paint, if desired.
Punch a hole in each space-themed shape. Tie each shape onto one of the strings of your mobile. Hang your mobile by the hanging loop and admire your outer-space creation.
For an educational activity revolving around the Milky Way galaxy, draw eight concentric circles on your cardboard circle, coming out from the centre. Punch one hole and hang a string from each of the eight circles. Hang shapes representing the eight planets of the Milky Way from the holes in the order that they orbit around the sun. From the sun heading outward, the planet order is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
Tips and warnings
- For an educational activity revolving around the Milky Way galaxy, draw eight concentric circles on your cardboard circle, coming out from the centre. Punch one hole and hang a string from each of the eight circles. Hang shapes representing the eight planets of the Milky Way from the holes in the order that they orbit around the sun. From the sun heading outward, the planet order is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.