Space Theme For Preschool
This Theme page is filled with preschool activities and ideas for all areas of your classroom.Let the Theme planning begin!
You can either scroll down through this page to see all of the preschool activities for this Theme or click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.
Materials Needed: Styrofoam balls, paint
The children can create their own planets! If you have a model of the planets hanging nearby, they can try to create a planet similar to Earth, Mars, etc., but why not create their own and then name it!
When dry, hang from the ceiling!
Space Dough Mobiles!
Materials Needed: home-made dough, circle and star shaped cookie cutters; rolling pins; straws.
Add 2 cups of salt to 2 1/2 cups of boiling water. Stir to dissolve. Add 4 cups of flour.
Have the children manipulate the dough until it is smooth enough for rolling out.
They should roll out the dough to about a 1/4 inch thickness and press out shapes with cookie cutters.
Show the children how to use the straw to make a hole near the top of their star or planet.
Back your universe in the oven at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours (check often after about 2 hours).
On another day, provide paint for them to paint their shapes. Hang in your classroom or send home when dry!
Paper Plate Planets
Materials Needed: Paper plates, crayons
Children create planets, suns, stars, etc. on their paper plate. Encourage them to write their own name on the back.
EXTENSION: See the MAGNETIC SPACE GAME under Math And Manipulatives Activities further down on this page to see how to turn this into a magnet game!
Materials Needed: Paper towel tubes (1 for each child plus a couple of extra); card stock or other sturdy paper; hot glue gun; paint
In advance, shape the card stock or sturdy paper into triangular tops to fit on top of the paper towel tube as the rocket top. Hot glue them onto each paper towel tube.
In advance, cut 2 slits on the bottom of the paper towel tubes.
In advance, using the extra paper towel tubes (or you can use stock paper), cut a "stand" and place it into the slits. This will make the bottom look like a rocket with a stand and will help the rocket ships to stand up while painting!
Provide each child with a rocket ship and paint and let them decorate away! When complete, hang from your ceiling!
EXTENSION: When dry, the children could paint over them with some watered down glitter glue for pizzazz!
Life Size Space Ship
Materials Needed: a large cardboard box (a refrigerator box works best, or you can tape 2 large moving boxes together with electrical tape); paint; markers; plastic milk or juice caps; glow in the dark stars
Make your box into a spaceship for your dramatic play area by cutting a hole in one side as a door, a port-hole hole (at child's height) for a window.
Let the kids help paint it!
On the inside, hot glue some milk or juice caps for buttons to push. Glue on glow in the dark stars.
Embellish any other way you and the children can think of!
When dry, place in your dramatic play area for some great fun! To see suggestions of props to provide with this in dramatic play, Click Here
Night Sky Mural
Materials Needed: DAY 1: Large mural paper; paint in blue, black, gray
DAY 2: Star stickers, bath scrungies or round sponges; variety of paint
DAY 1: Have the children paint the sky with blue, black and gray! Let it dry.
DAY 2: Decorate the universe! Use Star stickers. Use sponges to sponge paint planets, moons, stars, the sun!
Display on a wall or use as your bulletin board!
Materials Needed: Large brown grocery paper bags; scissors; stickers; markers; stamps and stamp pads
In advance, cut the grocery bag lengthwise up one side and through the bottom part of the bag. Cut a hole shape in the bottom for the children's head and cut arm holes on the sides.
Have the children use stamps, markers and stickers to decorate their space vests!
Materials Needed: paper towel tubes; small blocks; unit blocks, aluminum foil
Children can create space stations, space vehicles, etc.!
Add dollhouse people and furniture to the block area to recreate life in a rocket ship or at Mission Control!
Circle Time is such a great time for children to learn the social skills of being together as a large group AND to learn more about your Space Theme!
Tell a Cooperative Story
Materials Needed: Paper, pen!
I LOVE cooperative stories! They are great, and silly and fun! Tell the children that they are going to make up a story about taking a trip to a planet! You will need to prompt a lot of it, but write down everything they say and WHO says it!
I usually start with: Once upon a time....... then add a prompt......Once upon a time, some preschool children took a trip in a rocket ship to another planet. When the rocket ship was in the air.......
You then ask the children "What happened when the rocket ship was in the air?" Ask only one child who has an answer to answer that question. Then prompt the next question.
"When the rocket ship was in the air, a bird flew by..."
Say, "what happened next?" Call on another child.
Continue until all of the children have had a turn.
Write down each answer with the child's name next to it.
Retype the story, putting each child's name in parenthesis after their statement. Print enough copies for each child and one extra for your library!
The next day, read the class copy of the story to the children. You won't have to say each child's name while reading it...trust me...they'll remember!
After the story, have the children decorate a black or dark blue piece of paper with stickers for their individual book covers. You should make one, also! Yours will be for the class copy.
Attach the book covers and send one book home with each student. Place the class copy in your classroom library! They will LOVE seeing their name in print!
Day or Night?
Materials needed: A cut out sun and a cut out moon for each child.
Ask the children questions about things they do. If it is something they do during the day, they should hold up their sun.
If it is something they do at night, they should hold up the moon.
Suggestions: When do you...... Brush your teeth? Go to bed? Go to school? Eat breakfast? Eat dinner?
EXTENSION: Have the children decorate their own sun and moon for this project at your writing table or art table. Attach them to craft sticks. Have them bring these to circle time!
How Do Astronauts Sleep in Space?
Materials Needed: A sleeping bag; sunglasses; earmuffs;
Discuss with the children that 4 astronauts can sleep on just 2 beds! They use boards and are actually fastened onto the board when sleeping...one on top of the board and one UNDER the board!
Ask if children want to practice it! One child puts on the sunglasses and earmuffs; climbs into the sleeping bag and then you tuck the sleeping bag in tightly under them so they can not toss and turn.
Ask how it feels. Would they be comfortable, etc.
Let each child try if they want to.
When done, place these items in your dramatic play area for Astronaut fun!
Stars in the Sky
Materials Needed: A star cut out that has lots of glitter on one side and is plain on the other side.
Talk to the children about when they see stars...night time, day? Explain that the stars are still there, we just can't see them with all the light from the sun shining during the day.
Follow up with this song!
Sung to the tune of "Itsy, Bitsy, Spider"
See the shining stars(Hold up shiny side of star facing out)
Up in the big, night sky.
Look at them all twinkling
and blinking way up high!
When the morning comes, (Slowly start turning the star around)
the night turns into day
And the little twinkling stars. (Show plain side of star only.)
All seem to go away!
5 Brave Astronauts
5 Brave astronauts floated into space. (move hand up in the air)
The first one disappeared without a trace. (hide thumb)
The second one somersaulted past the moon.(hide pinky)
The third one entered the atmosphere too soon. (hide ring finger)
The fourth one took off counting ten to zero.(hide middle finger)
And the fifth one landed safely like a hero. (Bring hand down to ground).
Then WOOSH when the fuel and out went the lights.
And the 5 brave astronauts went on another flight!
I look up from Earth and try to see.
The planets looking back at me.
I gaze at bright and distant stars.
And search for Mercury, Venus and Mars.
I squint at the Milky Way, way up high.
And look for Jupiter in the sky.
Where are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune?
They're far away, high like the moon.
A telescope would be the best.
for spotting Pluto and the rest.
But even with my two eyes.
I look for planets in the sky.
EXTENSION: Provide paper towel tubes for the children to use while you recite the poem to them.
Cooking with children helps develop their math skills and helps them to learn how to follow directions. It also allows for some great conversation! Ask many questions while cooking
with your children to encourage conversation! Be sure to ask specific Space theme questions while making these fun snacks!
Ingredients and Items needed: Different colors of fruit juice; ice cube trays
Freeze different colors of juice. Put one cube of each into a cup and add a little bit of apple juice to help it melt!
Milky Way...sort of!
Ingredients and Items Needed: blue jello mix; instant vanilla pudding mix; milk; whipped topping; red food coloring; mixing bowl; clear plastic cups to serve into.
Make jello as instructed. Pour into shallow pan and let set in refrigerator.
Make pudding as instructed, tint with 1 drop of red food coloring and let set in refrigerator.
Scoop small layers of jello, pudding and whipped topping into plastic cups. Let children mix to make the milky way!
Ingredients and items needed: blender; 6 ounce can of unsweetened frozen orange juice concentrate, 3/4 cup of milk, 3/4 cup of water, 1 teaspoon of vanilla and 6 ice cubes.
Children should help you put the items in the blender.
You blend it up and yum!
Our Own Spaceship!
Materials Needed: Decorated space ship made from a box (Instructions are further up on this page under theArt Activities section); flashlights; backpacks with water bottles; pretend food; binoculars; blankets; large boots covered in aluminum foil!
You may also want to provide clip boards and markers for the children to take notes while "measuring" how much fuel they have, how far they've gone, etc.!
Materials Needed: Cut stars out of stock paper. Tape them onto the easel paper. When children are done painting, help them remove the stars to see the silhouette results!
VARIATION: Tape the star cut outs UNDER the paper and have the children either color over them with large markers or using the sides of crayons!
Materials Needed: Socks!
Roll up individual socks and have an Asteroid Fight!
EXTENSION: Set up some boxes and name them after the planets! Instruct the children to toss one into each 'planet' or a set number for each one depending upon the numbers you are working on with the children!
Planet Bean Bag Toss
Materials Needed: Large piece of cardboard; bean bags
In advance, cut holes larger than the bean bags. Paint Blue or black. Paint or attach paper stars around the holes. Let your little ones practice using their tossing and eye-hand coordination skills with this!
Getting Fit Obstacle Course
Astronauts need to be in very good physical health! Help your preschoolers train for NASA by setting up an obstacle course!
Use whatever you have available: Circle mats to hop from one to the other (or precut paper circles taped to the floor), a tunnel to crawl through (chairs with a blanket over them work well!); a balance beam to walk on or hop over!
Book Suggestions for the Library
Draw Me A Star by Eric Carle
The Night Sky by Alice Pernick
On The Moon by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Ottie and the Star by Laura Jean Allen
Our Stars by Anne Rockwell
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Iza Trapani (or any version!)
Library Wall Space Theme Decor
Hang pictures of anything space related......Magazine pictures, posters, the children's artwork!
Magnetic Space Game
Materials Needed: Paper Plate Planets (you can find this activity further up on this page under Art Activities ); paper clips; scraps of colored paper; magnetic wands
The children use the scraps of paper to make their own space ship, rocket ship or UFO.
Place a paper clip on the end part of the ship.
Place the ships ON the paper plates.
Show the children how to hold the plate and put the magnetic wand UNDER the paper plate to make their ships sail through the galaxy!
Materials: 4 inch square pieces of black construction paper; toothpicks; carpet squares; paper towel tubes; markers
Children decorate the paper towel tubes with markers.
Place black construction paper on a carpet square. Using a toothpick, the child pokes holes into the paper...lots of holes!
Child then looks through one end of the tube and holds the paper over the other end, looking up toward a light to see their own created universe!
Moon Rock Sorting
Materials Needed: Bin of rocks of different colors, shapes and sizes; aluminum foil bowls
Children sort the rocks by different attributes.
Moon Rock Counting
Materials needed: small rocks and pebbles; aluminum muffin tins
Program the individual muffin tin sections with a number. The children place the corresponding number of rocks or pebbles in each one.
EXTENSION: To further develop small muscle development, provide plastic or metal tongs for the children to pick the rocks up with.
Materials Needed: Different colors of modeling clay
Encourage children to make space creatures or anything space related! Clay is great for developing those small muscles in their hands!
Display their creations throughout the theme with their names next to their creations!
In advance, cut out 20 yellow stars. Program 10 of them to have the numbers 1-10 Program the other ten to have dots on them from 1-10 dots.
The children match up the numbers by counting.
EXTENSION: Make these self correcting by placing 1 dot on the back of the number 1, 2 dots on the back of the number 2 etc., for both sets of stars. If you do this, use thicker paper
so that the writing does not show through.
Smallest to Largest
Precut different sizes of stars or planets.
Children put them in order of largest to smallest, smallest to largest.
Bring Back Our Teacher!
Sung to "My Bonnie Lies Over The Ocean"
We've been singing this one for years. We have changed the words to go along with so many themes! I must warn you: This song will most likely get stuck in your head for days, so proceed at your own risk! ;)
Miss Cheryl is up in a space ship. Miss Cheryl is far away as can be. Miss Cheryl is in outer space. Oh bring back Miss Cheryl to me!
Bring back, bring back, oh bring back Miss Cheryl to me, to me.
Bring back, bring back, oh bring back Miss Cheryl to me!
Fill in the underlined part with the children's names, with "Mommy", etc. Our children have
filled it in with the names of their pets. They've even sung about their snack going to outer space! As always with preschoolers, the possibilities are endless!
Materials Needed: A CD with both fast and slow tempos of music*; CD player
Tell the children about gravity. Because of gravity, we can move fast on earth but not fast on another planet, like the moon. On the moon, we would move in s-l-o-w m-o-t-i-o-n!
Demonstrate for them!
Explain that they will move to the sound! Fast music is on earth and slow is on the moon!
Change the songs from fast to slow on the CD!
*We had a Big Band CD which has great ranges of tempo!
The Moon's Surface
Materials Needed: Large tarp (or shower curtain) to place under your sand and water table; lots of flour (several bags); rocks of different sizes
Pour the flour into the table.
Tell the children that it is the moon's surface (moon dust!).
Drop or toss a rock into the table. That is a crater.
Compare to pictures of the moon's surface.
Then just let them play with the flour with sand toys.
EXTENSION: Add water to the sand to let them make moon goop to play with! Messy but fun!
Although you can purchase moon sand at teacher stores, why not make your own with the children.
Materials Needed: 6 cups play sand (you can purchased colored play sand as well!); 3 cups cornstarch; 1 1/2 cups of cold water.
Have the children help scoop the corn starch and water into the table and mix until smooth.
Add sand gradually. This is very pliable sand and fun!
Be sure to store in an airtight container when not in use. If it dries, ad a few tablespoons of water and mix it in.
In space, fluids float around because there is not gravity, much like bubbles! Except, here on Earth, bubbles eventually float down to the ground.
Have fun with bubbles in your sand and water table!
EXTENSION: If you are doing this in cold weather, take the bubbles outside! They stay longer because they form small crystals on them and the pop brilliantly when they hit the ground!
Materials needed: corn starch; water; green food coloring
The amounts to make goop are 1 part water to 2 parts corn starch. (Example: 2 cups of corn starch with 1 cup of water). Add several drops of green food coloring to the water before adding to the corn starch.
This is a great activity! The goop "hardens" in the table, but once in your hands, your body temperature makes it melt! Tons of fun!
Life on Other Planets?
Materials Needed: Three small house plants in paper cups(I've used spider plants, some teachers use sprouted bean plants); small box lined with aluminum foil
Label the plants 'Earth', 'Mercury' and 'Pluto'.
Place Mercury in an open, aluminum foil lined box. Place it in a very warm area..lots of sunlight. Mercury has very high temperatures and no water so do NOT water this plant.
Place Earth near a window, in the shade where it gets some sun. Water it every couple of days. Like earth, there is rain, sun and shade caused by clouds.
Place Pluto in the freezer and do not water. Pluto only gets a very, small amount of sunlight and is therefore very cold.
Have the children guess what will happen to each plant and why.
Write their hypothesis on chart paper.
After a week, check on all the plants. Did any of them survive? Why or why not?
Bathing in Space
Materials Needed: Washcloths, smocks, water
Explain to the children that everything floats when there is no gravity! Astronauts, therefore, cannot take baths. They take "sponge-baths", they wash up with damp washcloths.
Over a table, have the children use a washcloth to wash their face. What happens to the water that drips out? (It falls to the table because of gravity).
Have the children lay on the floor and wash their faces with a wet washcloth...what happens to the water that drips out? (It drips on their faces!...because of gravity).
In space, those drops would float around the room like bubbles! There's no gravity!
Hydroponic (Water) Space Garden
Materials Needed: 2 liter bottle (1 for each child); cotton balls; heavy cotton string; green bean seeds; tape
In advance, cut the top of the bottle off where the bottle begins to curve.
Have the children write their name on their bottle.
Have the children invert the bottle top and place it into the bottle. Tape in place.
Pour water into the bottom of the bottle (to about 1/4 full).
Cut a length of the string and place it in the bottle top so that it goes through the hole and into the bottom of the bottle.
Pull apart some cotton balls so they're a bit fluffy and place them in the bottle top.
Plant a few bean seeds in the cotton.
What will happen: The string will absorb the water and drip it slowly on the cotton balls.
This will moisten the seeds so they can grow!
After the seeds sprout, keep the garden in a sunny window.
Add more water to the bottom of the bottle as needed.
Rockets that work!
Materials Needed: Plastic film canisters; Alka-Seltzer tablets (broken into 3-4 pieces); water.
Place 1 of the broken pieces of tablets into the canister. QUICKLY--add water to about half full and put the lid on.
Set it (lid on the ground) on the ground.
I'd recommend taping a line of where the children should stay behind! Only adults should do this!
One year, after a few blast-offs, the children started guessing where the rocket would land!
They each placed a rock (or you can use paper) where they thought it might land. They then went behind the safety line and the teacher blasted the rockets! Great fun!
Materials Needed: Several different types and shapes of rocks...take a walk outside to find some!; magnifying glasses; water; eye droppers; journals
Let the children compare and investigate their moon rocks! What happens when they get wet?
When you drop them? Provide journals (plain paper with construction paper as a cover and their names on them!) for them to record and draw on.
Space Word Box
Materials Needed: Use index cards to make 2 cards for each space word. One card will have a picture only. The other will have the picture AND the printed word. The children match the cards. Suggestions for words: space, planet, star, sun, moon, Earth
EXTENSION: Laminate these cards and provide low-odor dry erase markers. The children can then trace the letters of the words, erase with a tissue and trace again!
In advance, cut out and cover many stars with aluminum foil.
In the center of a star, tape an upper case letter A. Tape a lower case letter 'a' on another star. The children should match the letters.
VARIATION: If you are working with upper case only, then program 2 of each letter. You can have all the letters out for them to match or just choose the letters you have worked on with the class.
EXTENSION: The children use these letters to spell out their names or other words!
Astronaut Training Day Thank you Kristi K. for this suggestion!!
End the unit with Astronaut Training Day! The children learn a little about what it is like to walk like an astronaut (on a giant air mattress), eat like an astronaut (food in baggies), sleep standing up in a sleeping bag attached to a wall, and guide their balloon space shuttles through an obstacle course. By the end of this unit, they all want to grow up to become astronauts and discover a new star or planet which they will get to name!!!
Our Classroom Star--a REAL one!
This idea came to me by reading Kristi's Astronaut Training Day activity above! There are many places where you can actually purchase a star and its coordinates! The one that I have used is the actual Star Registry. At the time of this writing, the cost is $19.95 USD. Details are here: Star Registry Page
If you choose to do this, order your classroom star in advance so that you have the information and certification prior to the end of your theme!
Local Science Museum
Take a trip to a local science or discovery museum.
There are many opportunities with a Space theme for visitors to your classroom! Survey parents for opportunities as well as your local community!
Some ideas for visitors:
A parent who is a telescope hobbyist! Perhaps they can bring in their telescope and show the children how it works!