Children love anything to do with outer space. Children love learning about planets and dreaming about someday zooming off into the galaxy in a spaceship. Outer space exploration games are a way for kids to not only learn about space exploration, but to have fun doing it. Integrate space exploration games into school units and birthday parties.
Physical Space Exploration Games
Engage players in various physical space exploration games. Divide players into two teams for a "Space Race." Have players line up in two different lines and hand the person at the front of each line a small plastic spaceship. Tell the players that the spaceships are on a space exploration mission and need their help. The player at the front of the line passes the ball over his head to the second person in line, who in turn has to pass the ball through her legs to the third person in line. The spacecraft must be passed "over and under" until it reaches the last person in line who then runs to the front of the line to start the process over. The first team who has had every person have a turn at the front of the line and to have their team in the original formation wins the game. Another physical game is to turn a simple game of "Keep it Up" into a space-themed game. Blow-up a grey or black balloon and have children form a circle. Tell the kids that they have to pass the "asteroid" around but keep it off the ground.
Space Exploration Scavenger Hunts
Create a space-themed scavenger hunt. Create planets out of styrofoam balls that have been painted and hide them throughout a party venue or classroom. If the game is meant for educational purposes, label the planets with real planet names. Also hide cardboard stars and small plastic rocket ships. Either give clues for players to follow to find the items as a group or allow players to look for random items. Another way to "explore the galaxy" with a scavenger hunt is to use foil star stickers and other space-related items. Attach the stickers to index cards and hide them for a scavenger hunt.
Quiet Space Exploration Games
Gather kids inside for some quiet space exploration games. Have children sit in a circle for a game of "I Went to Space." Player number one says, "I went to space and I took..." and then says something that she would take with her into space, such as a sandwich. Then player number two must say, "I went to space and I took..." and repeat what player number one stated plus add a new item. The game continues until someone is unable to remember the entire list of items. Other quiet space games include space-themed word finds and crossword puzzles.
Other Space Exploration Games
There are many options for space-exploration-themed games. Create planets by painting styrofoam balls in white and neon colours. Buy glow-in-the-dark stars at a party supply store. Hang the planets and glow-in-the-dark stars. Wait until dark or darken the room's windows with black paper or cloth. Turn off the room lights, turn on some black lights and let students take turns walking through "the galaxy." Other space exploration games include trivia games and online video games.
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