Learning is “Out of this World” fun!
Let’s be Astronauts!
3…2…1…blast off to space with these fun, and easy, activities from The Molina Foundation! Read stories, sing songs, make rocket ships, place space ship games and more. As you do each of these activities, ask the young astronauts lots of questions to help them engage with the activity: What just happened? What do you think comes next?
Feel free to share these activities with families, teachers, and colleagues! Have more ideas for simple and easy space activities? Share them with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’ll feature our favorites in the list below.
Listen to a
Learn a New Song
Build a Rocket Ship
Snuggle up with your little astronaut and listen to a story about space. After each story, ask 3 – 4 who, what, where, when, and how questions about the story. For example, “Who was the story about?” and “What happened first?”
Learn a New Space Song
Have your little astronaut sing these songs while washing their hands or riding in the car. It’s a fun way to pass the time!
Rocket “shape” Project
Have your little astronauts build their names and a rocket ship with shapes.
Things you need:
- Paper folded into squares.
- Glue or tape
- After you fold the paper into squares have your little astronaut cut out the squares on the folded lines.
- Have them cut one of the squares in half diagonally to make 2 triangles.
- Have them cut one of the squares into stripes to use for the flames.
- In each square write a letter that is in their name.
- Ask them to spell their name and build a rocket ship with the shapes.
- Find a flat surface to tape the rocket ship to.
Make Moon Craters
Tell your child that you’re going to create craters, just like the ones on the moon. A crater is a large hole on the moon. At night, you can see some of the craters when you look up at the moon.
To make Moon Craters:
Mix up a batch of simple dough with your little astronaut. Knead and roll dough into a ball the size of your hand. Flatten the dough balls. With one finger, poke holes into the flatten dough surface creating dents, or craters. Count your craters as you make them.
Dough Recipe Ingredients:
- 2 cups plain flour
- 1 cup salt
- 1 tbsp. oil
- 1 cup cold water
- 2 drops liquid food coloring
- Combine the flour and salt.
- Add water, food coloring and oil. Mix until ingredients are combined.
- Knead well.
- If consistency is too wet add a little more flour.
Walk on the Moon
Explain to your child: Gravity is the force that helps keep your feet on the floor and is the reason things fall down. On the moon, there’s not enough gravity to help people walk – so “gravity boots” help astronauts walk around the moon. It’s very hard to walk with gravity boots. You can try!
Turn your living room into the Moon’s surface by placing craters (paper plates) all over the floor. Walk around the Moon with your very own special Gravity Boots! Be careful not to fall into a crater!
To Create Gravity Boots You Will Need:
- 2 large empty coffee cans
- Yarn or string
- Can or bottle opener
- Paper plates
- Using the can or bottle opener, punch 2 holes on either side of the top of each can.
- Measure a piece of string that is twice as long as the distance from your child’s toes to their bellybutton.
- To create a handle, thread the yarn or strong down through the top of the can through one hole, and then up through the other hole in the bottom so the two ends of the string meet above the can. Tie them together.
- Have your little astronaut stand on the cans and hold on to the handles. Have them try to walk around the moon with their new gravity boots.
Make a Space Helmet
Every astronaut needs a helmet before going to space. Have your child help make their own space helmet with simple household items.
Materials you will need:
- Paper grocery bag (big enough to fit over your child’s head)
- Plastic wrap or cellophane
- Masking tape
- Markers or Crayons
- Place the bag on your child’s head.
- If the bag is too long for your child’s shoulders, cut around the bottom to make it shorter.
- Try on the bag again and estimate where you should cut the hole for the child’s eyes. When you find it, cut a rectangular hole in your bag, roughly 3 ½ inches by 4 ½ inches. This will become the visor where the astronaut can see. Be careful that is high enough for their eyes, but stays away from their nose and mouth.
- Decorate the bag with markers or crayons with your child.
- Cut a piece of plastic wrap long enough to cover the rectangle hole.
- Tape the plastic over the hole on the inside of the bag.
- Have your little astronaut put on their helmet.
Grow a Space Garden
Grow a garden that can travel to space!
Things you will need:
- Clear zip lock sandwich bags
- Dry beans
- Paper towels
- Open a zip lock baggie.
- Dampen a paper towel and place the folded towel in the bag. Paper towels should be damp enough to provide moisture for the bean, but not dripping (which could cause mold).
- Place a dry bean on top of the damp paper towel and seal the bag. There does not need to be any air in bag.
- Tape the bag to a window or a wall which gets some sunlight. A window helps for viewing the seed as it germinates.
- The seeds should begin to germinate in 3-5 days. Moisten the paper towels if they are drying out.
- Watch your space garden grow.
- In 1 ½ to 2 weeks transplant the sprouted seeds if soil is available.
Make An Anti-Gravity Galaxy Bottle
Learn how stars move in space. Introduce new words like gravity, galaxy, and float.
Things you will need:
- Plastic Water Bottle
- Baby Oil
- Purple and Blue Liquid Food Coloring
- Silver Glitter
- Remove the label from the water bottle.
- Fill the bottle half full with baby oil.
- Add silver glitter on top of the baby oil (About ½ teaspoon of glitter)
- Add enough water to a measuring cup to fill the rest of the bottle.
- Add 8 drops of red food coloring and 5 drops of blue food coloring. Make sure to count each drop with your little astronaut!
- Mix the water and pour it into the bottle, leaving about ¾” of air space in the mouth section of the bottle.
- Screw the lid back onto the bottle. You can seal it closed with tape or glue if you like.
Shake the bottle vigorously and watch the glitter float up as it settles!
Galaxy – any one of the very large groups of stars that make up the universe
Gravity – the natural force that tends to cause physical things to move towards each other: the force that causes things to fall towards the Earth
Float – to rest on top of a liquid, to be carried along by moving water or air.
Reach For The Stars
Little astronauts can practice jumping and stretching in space by reaching for the Stars!
Things you will need:
- Streamers or Long strips of paper
- Cut paper stars
- Tape one end of the paper streamers to the ceiling. Make sure you hang the steamers in an open space free from obstacles that your little astronauts can crash into!
- Cut the streamer so that it’s just out of your little astronauts reach. You want then to jump to reach the stars!
- Attach the stars to the ends of the streamers.
- To challenge your little astronaut, write letter on each star to spell a secret space word. As they jump get catch a star, they will be able to build the secret word.
Construct a Space Snack – Rocket Kabob
Make a fun and healthy Space snack with Fruits and/or Vegetables. Don’t forget to make patterns and count while you’re making your rocket ship!
Fruit and Vegetable suggestions:
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Bell Pepper
- Wash fruits and vegetables.
- Prepare washed fruits and vegetables by slicing celery, squash, and bananas.
- Cut off the tops of strawberries.
- Cut melon/ bell pepper into triangle shapes.
- Attach fruit or vegetables onto Popsicle sticks or wood skewers.
- Don’t forget to count down before blasting off into your mouth!
Space Ship Frisbee
Every little astronaut needs to have good eye-hand coordination in space. Try making a simple space ship Frisbee to build up these skills!
Things you will need:
- Paper plates
- Staple 2 paper plates together.
- Have your little astronaut tear off pieces of masking tape and place on stapled plates for decoration.
- Draw space pictures and shapes on the tape for added decoration.
- Toss your space ship Frisbee up into the air and catch it before it hits the ground.
Astronaut Training: Obstacle Course
Every Astronaut needs to be physically fit before going to space. Turn your living room into an astronaut training camp using sofa cousins, chairs, tables, etc.
Have your little astronaut jump from cushion to cushion, crawl under tables, roll down the hallway, and so on.
You can take the training outside to run, twirl, leap, spin, and skip.
Make and Eat a Space Snack: Edible Constellations
Construct star constellations with cheese cubs and pretzel sticks.
Constellations: are groups of stars to which definite names have been given. Constellation names are: Ursa Major, Ursa Minor, Boötes, Cancer, Orion.