Planets, stars, constellations, spaceships and other space themes fascinate children. Kids of all ages love to look at pictures from the Hubble Telescope, search for constellations in the night sky and imagine what it would be like to fly through space in a spaceship. Space-themed art activities can offer children a variety of true and imaginary space experiences.
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Phases of the Moon - Mobile
Have kids create one of the eight moon phases by cutting a paper plate into the correct shape. Repeat for all phases. Dab greyish thick paint onto the moon shapes by using sponge pieces. Older children can write the name of the moon phase on the paper plate. Use lengths of a fishing line to hang the moon phases on a 1-yard dowel stick. Tie a piece of string (measure the string to about 1 foot longer than the dowel stick) to each end of the dowel to form a hanger for the mobile.
Hubble Scenes Art
Show children some pictures taken from the Hubble Telescope. Have kids create a similar scene, using their imagination. Give each child a whole sheet of black poster board. Let them create their own space scenes using a variety of paints, chalks, glitter, sequins and other craft materials. Display the artwork on a wall in the classroom or hallway.
Orbit in a Bottle
Give each child a clear 2-liter soda bottle. Have the kids cut off the top portion where the bottle begins to slope. Save the cut-off piece, with the lid, for later use. Have kids paint a ping pong ball to look like the sun. Push a bamboo kebab skewer through the centre of the ball. Use a glue gun to fasten one end of the skewer to the bottom of the bottle. Kids should cut out and colour pictures of the planets, about 1 inch or smaller. Use wide, clear tape to fasten the planets, in order, to the outside of the bottle. Use any shape of a moon stage from poster board. Glue a toothpick onto the moon, then poke one end of the toothpick into the "sun" ping pong ball. Pour 1 cup of clear syrup into the bottle. Sprinkle glitter and star-shaped sequins into the syrup. Place the top portion back onto the bottle and tape the seam securely. Kids can move the bottle around to see the solar system seem to orbit through the stars.
Have each child cut spaceship shapes from craft foam. Glue a nonspring clothespin to the back of each spaceship. Kids can use markers to decorate their spaceships or glue on extra features, if desired. Paint one cardboard box black on the inside. Sprinkle glitter into the wet paint to create an outer space look. Place the box on its side, a few feet from the kids. Have them take turns trying to toss their spaceships into outer space.
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