I have a quick little post today about the Solar System model that we made a few days ago. Space is one of our favorite topics. There is so much to learn that we keep coming back to it for more. We’ve done a lot of space stuff in the past, but I thought I’d start with this. I’ll also list some great resources down below.

solar system display

The other morning, my five-year-old announced that he wanted to make a solar system. The wheels immediately began to turn in my head: Should we buy a kit? Styrofoam balls of different sizes? We need to make a supply list and take a trip to Michaels. How would we find the right relative sizes? Then I stopped. I didn’t want to make a solar system, he did.

What did you have in mind? I asked.

He jumped into action, collecting different balls and beads. We spent the morning thinking. I pulled out the “Solar System” storage box that has all our already-used materials about planets inside. We worked together to identify what materials we would use. Though we couldn’t properly convey relative size, we did our best. We decided to ignore relative distance.

It was a great lesson in being resourceful and using problem solving. Almost all the ideas were his. I suggested using balloons and helped attach the string from the “planet” to the curtain rod.

solar system model

Here’s what we used:

  • Sun- orange balloon with glow-in-the-dark sticks inside
  • Mercury- bead
  • Venus- red ball
  • Earth- 99-cent ball that we purchased a while back at Michael’s (from the kid toy bins)
  • Mars- red ball
  • Jupiter- white balloon with red spot drawn on
  • Saturn- purple balloon with glow-in-the-dark bracelets put together as a large ring
  • Uranus- green balloon with vertical glow-in-the-dark ring
  • Neptune- green balloon with horizontal glow-in-the-dark ring

He wrote all the planet names on cards as labels. (Handwriting practice has practical applications!) And we attached it all to the curtain rod in the play nook. I love how it turned out. And I’m pleased that it was his creativity that was on display. This is one of my goals for teaching my kids: I will strive to be the asker of questions and the getter of supplies for their creative endeavors.

I’m sure I’ll post more about the solar system as we continue to learn more.

Now for more ideas:

-Here is a great resource that we have used for understanding relative size from Research Parent.

-My guy really likes mazes. I put these from Kids Activities Blog into the clear plastic sheet pockets and he can do them again and again with dry erase markers.

-And here’s another bunch of great ideas from 3 Boys and a Dog.

As always, there’s more on Pinterest:
Follow glimmersnaps’s board Solar System on Pinterest.


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