A space theme blasts a child's imagination into warp speed. The theme works well in the classroom as part of a science curriculum. Incorporating space activities throughout the field of study reinforces the concept and makes the activities more interesting. The space theme also works well for birthday parties. Many of the same activities work well in both a classroom and at a child's party.
Space-themed decorations set the stage to make the kids feel like astronauts. Dark paper or fabric on the walls and ceiling transforms the room into space. Check on fire safety codes before covering the walls of a public space like a classroom. Stars cut from construction paper and covered with glitter attached to the fabric or paper add to the space look. Make more stars from cardboard or other sturdy material and suspend them from the ceiling at different heights. The same idea works for the planets and moons. Hang the cardboard planets in the correct order as they appear in the solar system for a realistic look.
A rocket ship takes a prominent location within the room for a space theme. Use a large refrigerator box standing upright to create the ship. Another option is to stack smaller boxes on top of one another with holes cut in them so the inside of the rocket ship is open to the top. Cover the box with aluminium foil or silver foil wrapping paper to create a metallic look. You can also paint the inside to look like the controls of a rocket.
Frisbees work well as flying saucers for a space-themed game. Mark targets and let the kids take turns tossing a frisbee toward it. The person closest wins a point. Space trivia is another game that adds in an educational component. Write questions about space based on the topics the kids are learning. Divide the kids into teams and take turns asking the trivia questions. A correct answer earns a point for the team.
Studying the planets teaches kids about the differences, such as extreme temperatures and the type of surface each planet has. These details provide the inspiration for a thought-provoking activity. Ask the kids to come up with inventions that would allow them to live on the planet. For example, Mercury's daytime temperature is around 427 degrees Celsius, while it dips down to -137 degrees Celsius at night. The kids would need to think of a solution to deal with the sharp temperature differences that humans couldn't handle.
Craft projects related to space offer another option. Paper mache planet models are one example. Another idea is to have the kids create their own aliens from recyclable materials like cans, boxes, bottle lids and fabric scraps. For a rocket craft, use a paper towel tube as the main part of the ship and a paper cone for the end. The kids can decorate the rockets with craft supplies.