Are you looking for some exciting and educational science projects to enjoy with your young Blaster? Teach them a little more about our very own galaxy by creating a beautiful solar system project for your home. As your kids might already know, our solar system consists of the Sun and eight surrounding planets, including Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune, neighbored by the dwarf planet, Pluto. You can share the wonders of our universe and the science behind the orbiting circuit with your family by building one of our favorite crafts that gravitates toward children’s natural curiosity.
Building a physical model of the solar system with your kid can improve their visual development and hand-eye coordination. Please note that the relative sizes of the planets and the Sun is as follow (starting from the largest to smallest): Sun, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury, and lastly, Pluto. To create a more accurate depiction of the solar system, try using the following materials and methods:
Styrofoam for Stationary Model
You can use Styrofoam balls and wooden unbendable sticks with different lengths to replicate a stationary model of the solar system. Follow the relative sizes of the planet and purchase different sized Styrofoam balls accordingly. Color the balls with non-toxic acrylic paint or you can choose to get creative with glitters and other materials. Then, cut out different lengths of sticks, for example, Pluto being the furthest planet from the Sun, should have the longest stick attached to it. The second longest stick is Neptune, then Uranus, etc. Once you have these wooden sticks cut out to the ideal lengths, insert it firmly into the Styrofoam ball on one end, and the Sun on the other end. The end product should be quite a hefty masterpiece.
For the planets, you can use cardboard or color paper to create them Saturn has a beautiful ring, so don’t forget to attach that as well! Label the planets, and tape a piece of string to each planet. Lace the other end of the string through the holes you have created previously and tape it onto the top side of the cardboard. Starting from the center, the order of the planets is as follow: Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and last Pluto. Remember, this order is different from the relative sizes of the planet. Finally, attach three strings on the top side of the cardboard to create a harness for hanging your model. Now, you have your very own solar system!
Cardboard for Suspended Model
This light and versatile material is best if you plan on hanging your model from the ceiling or the wall. Use a compass to draw a circle onto the cardboard. Find the center point of the circle by drawing one line from top to bottom, and another line from left to right. The intersection of these two lines is the mid-point of the circle, and this is where you will place the Sun. Draw four evenly spaced rings closer to the center of the circle. Then, draw another five evenly spaced rings that are farther away from the center. Use a pair of sharp point scissors or a large nail to punch one hole through each of the orbiting lines. The holes reflect the positions of your planets.
Other Fun Activities
Apart from building models, you and your kid can try out two dimensional crafts, mixed media artwork or any other creative ideas to create a solar system that will spark their interest in space and science. For example, you can create posters, using the same principles introduced previously. Or you can encourage your kid to apply their creativity and artistic skills to create an intriguing piece of artwork using crayons. And if none of these ideas seem to hit home, try building the solar system on your kid’s snack or meal plate. You can arrange pieces of kiwis, oranges, strawberry and even salami to represent the planets.