Sunday, January 27, 2013

Super Solar System Fun!

Children are amazing and talented creations and given the chance anything can happen.  Each year I become more and more impressed with my classroom when we discuss the Solar System.  This year is NO exception.  To be honest, I came into this week a little less prepared than usual.  We were suppose to do a new unit on dinosaurs, but we changed at the last minute because our older classes had it planned (oops on my part!) and our school resources would have been over extended.  No problem, I love the unit on the Solar System so we blasted off to the moon!  Because of Martin Luther King Day, we were out of school on Monday, and our week started off on Tuesday talking about the sun!

This is one of those art projects that is super simple BUT enables the child to use so many different skills.  We started with a circle (cut by the teacher from poster board), the children put big blobs (that is their word) of paint onto the circle.  We used yellow, red and some very SHINY, FUN gold!  I cover the circle with plastic wrap and then . . . .


FUN, FUN, FUN!  This is a great sensory and fine motor activity rolled in to one!  Next, we carefully removed the plastic wrap and laid the (very) wet circle onto a black sheet of construction paper (covered in glue) AND

the children added the sun rays!  We tried to practice our "pencil skills" while we were painting our sun rays by letting the children use a small paintbrush.  Some of the rays were long and other were short, but it didn't matter, they were all wonderful!

During our circle time this week each child was assigned something from our solar system.  All week long the child was referred to by his/her planet name, moon, asteroid or comet.  Each day we added a new fact about the planets.  My class was like a bucket of sponges, I literally could not tell them enough information!  They wanted more and more!!!  By the end of the week no one had names anymore, just solar system references.

We also worked on our writing skills this week and made a rocket. 

I found this on PINTEREST ( My Solar System PINTEREST board ) last year and made a few changes.  Each child counts the number of letters in their name and then picks out that number of squares.  Next, the child writes the letters of his/her name on the blocks and glues them to a piece of black construction paper (really long names may require more than one sheet of paper).  The bottom of the rocket reads, "My name is _________ rocket blocks long." The children count the blocks and write in the number.  This is such a special piece that we did not show our parents, we are keeping it for our Spring Art Show so shhhhhh. . . keep our secret!

We also talked about the moon this week.  I am very fortunate to have some amazing posters from my husband's uncle.  He worked for NASA in Huntsville, Alabama in the early years of the Apollo projects.  My class really enjoyed looking at them, especially the ones of the astronauts and the moon's surface.  We also spent a great deal of our day counting backwards and yelling "BLAST OFF!".  It was a fun way to line up or change activities.  Our art project on this day was to fly to the moon and we did!

The children made the moon by painting a black circle with silver paint.  Next, they sprinkled sand on top of the wet paint - INSTANT MOON! 
The "fire" shooting out of our rocket is made by letting the children mix red and yellow paint right on the paper. 
(NOTE: The white circle is really a photo of the child's face. I removed it for safety reasons.)

Our Fabulous Fun Friday was all about the moon!  We started out with plain old rocks (THANKS TIFFANY AND CHAD!)
Added some shiny silver paint mixed with silver glitter paint, glue and some tissue paper.

The results were marvelous!!!!

This rock is done without the tissue paper.
This one has tissue paper and lots of paint.
It was still very wet when we left on Friday!
Our science project this week was really run AND messy.  We mixed 1 part sand and 1 part corn starch together for . . . .
It was a lot of fun PLUS everyone got to take home a bag!
WOW, we sure packed a lot into four short days didn't we????  Next week is our unit on dinosaurs so I better head off and start studying!  I'm not a big expert on dinosaurs and I want to be ready for those "tough" questions.  THANKS FOR STOPPING BY!


  1. These are some awesome activities!! My son would really enjoy them because he has really shown an interest in the solar system. I will keep this post!! Thanks for sharing!

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  2. Great ideas! I can't wait to use them.

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  4. Love your ideas! Your lessons are really creative:) thank you for sharing!

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