Space Theme for Preschool

Space: Planets, stars, the moon, "To Infinity and Beyond"!

This theme is endless in the possible activities and adventures your preschoolers can participate in!

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, you can click the link below to go to specific preschool activity types you are looking for.

Space Theme Art

Painted Planets

Materials Needed: newspaper, masking tape, paint

The children can create their own planets by crumpling a piece of newspaper into a ball and then taping it.
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 Rockets

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!


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

Directions:

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!


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Space Theme Block Center Ideas

Astronaut Life

Add dollhouse people and furniture to the block area to recreate life in a rocket ship or at Mission Control!


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Space Theme Circle Time Ideas

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!


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!


Outer Space

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.

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Snack Recipe Ideas to Cook Up for Your Space Theme!

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!


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!


Sunshine Shakes

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!

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Space Theme Ideas to Transform Your Dramatic Play Area

Our Own Spaceship!

Materials Needed: Decorated space ship made from a box 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.!

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Space Theme Ideas for your Easel--More Than Just Painting (Although that is always THE favorite in our classroom!)

Star Stencils

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!

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Space Theme Large Group Games that help build their muscles while they have fun together

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!

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Space Theme Ideas for Your Library

Book Suggestions for the Library

Draw Me a Star (Paperstar Book) by Eric Carle

The Night Sky (Beginning Literacy, Stage C) by Alice Pernick

The Berenstain Bears on the Moon by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Ottie and the Star I Can Read Book by Laura Jean Allen

Our Stars by Anne Rockwell

Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Iza Trapani (or any version!)

Decor for the Library Area

Hang pictures of anything space related......Magazine pictures, posters, the children's artwork!

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Space Theme activities to help your Preschoolers develop those small muscles in their hands!

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.

Smallest to Largest

Precut different sizes of stars or planets.

Children put them in order of largest to smallest, smallest to largest.

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Space Theme Music and Movement Activities and Ideas to get your Preschoolers Movin' and Groovin'!

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!

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Space Activities for the Senses!

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!


Moon Sand

Although you can purchase moon sand at Amazon or 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.

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Space Theme Science Activities--for your Preschool Scientists in Training!

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!


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.

STAND BACK!

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!


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Writing Activity Ideas for Your Preschool Classroom's Space Theme!

Letter Matching

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!

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Miscellaneous Activities for Your Preschool Classroom's Space Theme!

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! You can find information on the company we used by CLICKING the Cosmic Registry link HERE.  

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!


Space Theme Field Trips

Local Science Museum

Take a trip to a local science or discovery museum.


Space Theme Classroom Visitors

There are many opportunities with a Space theme for visitors to your classroom! Survey parents for opportunities as well as your local community!

Also, invite a parent to visit who is a telescope hobbyist!  Perhaps they can bring in their telescope and show the children how it works!

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