Outer Space and Astronauts Theme and Activities

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Space Day was instituted in 1997 and is celebrated the first Friday of May. On July 20, 1969, Commander Neil Armstrong became the first man on the moon. Either of these dates are good times to introduce preschoolers to Outer Space and Astronauts.

Space Songs and Fingerplays

Tuning Up For Outer Space (Tune: The Farmer in the Dell)
The sun is in the sky. The sun is in the sky.
Hot and bright, it gives us light.
The sun is in the sky.
The moon is in the sky.
The Moon is in the sky.
Around and 'round the earth it goes.
The moon is in the sky.
The stars are in the sky.
The stars are in the sky.
Twinkly bright, they shine at night.
The stars are in the sky.

Around the Sun (Tune: Here We Go Around the Mulberry Bush)
Mercury goes around the sun,
Around the sun, around the sun.
Like the planets, everyone.
Each one in its orbit. (Continue with all planets)
As you continue the song, ask the children which planet would be next.

Climb Aboard The Spaceship (Tune: Itsy Bitsy Spider)
Climb aboard the spaceship, We're going to the moon.
Hurry and get ready, We're going to blast off soon.
Put on your helmets And buckle up real tight.
Here comes the countdown, Let's count with all our might.
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1---BLAST OFF!!

Space Art Activities

Moon Craters
Cover bubble wrap with plaster of paris or paper mache'. Let dry and peel off. Then paint.

Telescope Craft
Have children decorate a paper roll . Have the child look through it and pretend they see various objects in space.

Paper Plate Planets
Cut paper plates into different sizes to represent each planet. Children create planets with crayons, markers, or paiint.

Glow-in-the-Dark Space Scene
Have children use glow-in-the-dark paints, crayons or markers to create night scenes on dark black or blue construction paper.

Make Your Own Mood Sand
You will need:

  • 6 cups of play sand (preferably colored sand)
  • 3 cups of cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 cups of cold water
Mix the sand and cornstarch together. Add water, and mix everything together with your hands. Work through until you no longer see the white cornstarch. Add toys or mold into shapes. Store in airtight container. You may have to add a couple teaspoons of water the next time you play with moon sand.


Space Math and Science

"Moon Rock" Sorting
Get a collection of different rocks. Have children sort rocks by color, size, etc.

"Moon Rock" Counting
Get a collection of different rocks. Using a muffin tin, label the bottom of a each muffin section with a number. Have children count that many rocks and put into the numbered muffin tin section.

Planet Seriation
Using the paper plate planets, have children arrange planets in order from smallest to largest.

Sensory Bag
Fill a Ziploc bag with inexpensive hair gel, and add glitter and stars to the bag. Place another bag over first bag and glue shut. Place in the science area for sensory fun.

Rocket Launch
Place an Alka-Seltzer Tablet and a little water in a 35mm film cartridge and close the lid tightly. Place this on the floor and stand back. The top will very soon launch (the pressure from the gas causes the lid to pop off and fly about chest high).

Space Motor Skills and Movement

NASA Training Obstacle Course
Set up an obstacle course, explaining that astronauts need to be very fit.

Meteor Catch
Wrap a styrofoam ball in aluminum foil. Attach crepe paper for tails. Toss back and forth.

Space Snacks

Astronaut Pudding
Make Astronaut Pudding by putting 1 tablespoon of chocolate (or any flavor) instant pudding in a ziploc bag. Add 1/4 cup of milk. Close the bag. Squish up the pudding mix. Poke a hole in the bag and suck it out. Eat just like the astronauts with no utensils!

More Space Resources

  • Free Space Crafts, Astronaut Crafts, Activities, and Printables
  • All About Atronomy
  • NASA for kids, teachers page
  • Learn about the planets
  • A Learning Center for Young Astronomers
  • Beginners info on Astronomy