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Beyond Earth – Learning About the Solar System
To a child, learning that there are other planets besides Earth can be a mind boggling experience. Although it may seem like a foreign concept, learning that there is more out there can be educational and exciting.
Going beyond the Earth’s atmosphere involves learning about the moon, stars, and planets such as Mars and Jupiter. The way that planets are constantly rotating is something important to point out, too. In order to learn about the solar system, parents and teachers can educate their children all that there is to know about what lies beyond our own amazing planet.
The following activities will get your child engaged and educated about the solar system:
This activity is educational and delicious. Start out by using different types of candies or something colorful like M&M’s. For example, Mars could be a red M&M and Earth can be a blue Skittle. To make it seem even more accurate, draw in pencil a picture or outline of what the solar system looks like on a piece of paper and then label the planets. Add the candies for color.
Wish you were here
This activity is for the budding travel agents. Have your child choose his or her favorite planet and create a postcard or travel documents based on the planet’s characteristics. This involves research on the planet and marketing skills as well!
Act it out
For teachers, select children to represent different parts of the solar system. You can design costumes for these if you wish. Have the main character be the sun and let all the other kids (planets) rotate around him or her. By incorporating dialogue, the planets can recite different facts about his or her planet.
Create a lunar module
A module of the solar system can be created by using different types of materials. From foam balls to Play-Doh, your child can create their own solar system. For the more adventurous types, a child can add string to each planet, and connect them all by using hangers or whatever else can hold up the module.
Using the floor
Start out by getting different colors of construction paper. Draw the different planets on the papers and cut them out. Arrange them on the floor indicating the distances between each one. This gives your child another perspective of the solar system.
Create a coloring book
By using white, blank sheets of paper stapled together, your child can create a coloring book of the solar system. Use pencil to draw outlines of every planet. Once that is completed, grab some crayons and start bringing them to life.
Solar system posters
This is a great way to decorate the classroom. For teachers, assign students with a specific part of the solar system, whether it is a planet, the sun, or an asteroid. By providing them with big, blank sheets of poster paper, have them design posters. They can be displayed around the classroom for everyone to see.