The solar system is a vast subject to try to understand, especially for small children. You can make the immensity of outer space seem more manageable by constructing a small and simple model of the solar system. To make this project an even bigger hit, use edible sweets to represent the various planets in the solar system. Though this miniature solar system won't represent exact orbital sizes and planetary dimensions, it will set the stage for a basic understanding of the planets. When the study is over, everyone can munch on their solar systems.
Things you need
Draw eight concentric circles on a paper plate, with each circle slightly larger than the previous one. This will represent the orbits of the eight planets around the sun.
Spoon a dollop of frosting onto a second, smaller plate to use as glue throughout the project.
Affix a large yellow or gold sweet, such as a gumball, to the centre of the plate, in the middle of the smallest circle. Scoop up a bit of frosting with a lolly stick and smear it on one side of the sweet. Place the sweet on the plate with the frosting side down.
Place a small sweet on the circle closest to the sun to represent Mercury. Mercury is the smallest of the planets, so you should use a very tiny sweet or even a sprinkle for this planet.
Use a yellow or orange sweet on the next largest circle for Venus. Venus is the sixth smallest planet, so this sweet should be relatively small as well, such as an M&M or Skittle.
Set a blue M&M or Skittle on the third circle from the sun to represent Earth. Earth is only slightly larger than Venus.
Place a small red candy on the next circle for Mars. Mars is the second smallest planet so a red hot or similarly sized sweet is appropriate for this planet.
Affix a large sweet to the next circle to represent Jupiter. This is the largest planet in the solar system. It is best known for its large red spot. You can depict this by sticking a red hot on a relatively flat sweet such as a peppermint with icing, or by making a red icing dot on a gumball.
Place a large yellow or orange sweet such as a gum drop on the next circle for Saturn. Peel licorice apart into small strips and wrap one or two around the gumdrop to represent the planet's rings.
Place blue or violet sweets on the last two circles for Uranus and Neptune, with Neptune on the farthest ring from the sun. These are the third and fourth largest planets in the solar system. Use sweets such as Peanut M&Ms for these.
Things you need
- Paper plate
- Popsicle stick