Guest blog written by Sally Brumby from the Busy Things Team
Read on for loads of ideas for space themed activities that will make learning and teaching so much easier and so much more fun! Make it a Space-Day to remember!
In these very strange and challenging times, with so many parents trying to help their children learn at home and often whilst also working themselves, we thought you might like a post with ideas to create a really fun day of learning through play for the whole family!
Using a theme can make both learning and teaching so much easier and also so much more fun! AND as it’s National Space Day on Friday 1st May – Space it is!
Space is a great theme! It is so versatile and really captures children’s imaginations, so why not really embrace it – space themed food and games, even bath-time can be part of your star-tastic day (or week)!
We’ve come up with loads of ideas for space themed activities that will make the day an extra special one to remember!…
Space themed snacks and meals…
Making meals together involves the development of lots of skills! Lots of maths involved too with measurements and timings.
Rocket skewers – cut bananas, melon, strawberries etc into discs and triangle shapes then layer them on a skewer to create rocket spaceships!
Planet pizzas – make pizza dough from scratch or use a wrap or pizza base then add your mushroom craters, grated cheese space dust, ham space rocks – anything can be intergalactic!
Point scoring/adding. Turn taking. Logic. Problem solving – the learning opportunities are endless!
Asteroid toss – Make asteroids from balls/potatoes/anything roundish wrapped in foil. Or scrunched up paper. Cut holes in a cardboard box with different sized rings for different points and throw – highest score wins. You could also do this with bins at different distances or just markers on the ground.
Battle Space-ships – Use battle ships if you’ve got a real game or its very simple to make your own version on paper. Print a grid of squares and use rocket ships instead of battle ships.
Space scavenger hunt ideas
Adapt depending on the age and ability of the child – e.g. young ones won’t be able to order the planets but will still love to find them and for you to tell them the names.
Planet Hunt – Cut out planet shapes, hide them around the house or garden – when children find them they need to put them in order.
Find and communicate with Alien life! – Hide aliens around (kids could draw them first). On the back of each you can write a challenge of how to communicate with that Alien – one might rub his tummy and pat his head another might hop while singing twinkle twinkle little star etc.
Moon rock hunt – Wrap up some letters/words in foil (those plastic eggs from easter could come in handy for this!) for children to find and make into a space related word or sentence.
Get your space-groove on!
Music, movement and using up some of that energy!
A moonwalk-off – who can do the best?
Move like an Alien – turn the space themed music up high and take in turns to make up an Alien move
Astronaut training – Astronauts need to be super fit! Create an obstacle course to get bodies ready for space adventures. 10 x Star jumps, create a moon rock slalom, 10 x squats to avoid the asteroid, hop scotch over the craters etc.
Make the whole day space themed!
Just makes the day into a bit more of an event, children don’t really need to know they are ‘learning’ – the more natural you can make it the better.
Bath-time in space – think disco lights, glow sticks and bubbles! The usual bath toys have become spaceships and alien beings!
Stay up late for some star gazing – snuggle up for with blankets and hot chocolate (sprinkled with cream and space dust of course!) and look for star constellations. Or camp out in the garden.
Story time – choose a space themed book
TV time – watch the NASA international Space station on NASA TV
Creative space play
Build a space station! A cardboard box and toilet rolls covered in foil, add a few egg box buttons, milk bottle lid dials and you’ve got yourself a space station. Perfect for role play.
Paint marbled planets – float paint on water and lay on your circles of paper.
Paper plate planet art – paper plates are planets ready to decorate!
Busy Things Free Space Activity Pack – we’ve created a Free Space Activity Pack full of space themed activities from colouring to crafting to puzzles.
Toilet roll aliens – a bit of paint here, a few googly eyes there and finish off with some pipe cleaners!
Make moon sand – Mix flour and baby oil to create moldable sand. Here’s a recipe.
Build a space den – always a winner! Add fairy lights for stars.
Constellation torches – get black paper discs cut to the size to go over a torch. Use a skewer to create star pin holes in the shape of constellations. Turn the lights off and the stars on!
Galaxy jars – lots of tutorials on the internet but essentially water, paint, cotton balls and glitter in a jar. Mix them up and watch the galaxy unfold.
Shadow drawings – do shadow drawings throughout a day to show how the earth moves
Balloon rockets – you’ll need a piece of string, a straw and a balloon – thread the straw on the string. Tie the string up so you have a launch strip. Blow the balloon up, don’t tie. Cellotape the balloon to the string, let go and blast off!!
Busy Things includes lot of Space activities – create planet fact files, make a spaceship or test your knowledge of planets with out interactive worksheets.
You can make anything space themed!
If there’s a curriculum area that you particularly want to focus on, space themed activities are so easy to come up with! For instance…
Space Maths – count aliens, create a spaceship with different shapes and angles, Multiplication space invaders – chalk lots of answers on a garden wall, shout out the questions and the invaders water gun down the right answers.
Space English – from looking at letters in space-themed words to writing about a new alien species, to reading research on the web about planets.
Space History – so many documentaries to watch on moon-landings and all the other incredible achievements that have been made in the understanding and travel of space.
Space Music – Now, have you heard of 5 little men in a flying saucer?! Why not get the pan lids out, make a rice shaker and challenge children to create the sounds that make them think of space. Or you could just pop some of these tunes on.
Please do challenge us in the comments if there is a curriculum area you would like help with to space-ify!
At the end of a long space day…
Finally, make an Astronaut certificate to congratulate your little space cadets for completing all your intergalactic adventures!
More space themed activities…
If your little space explorer is looking for even more space fun, please check out our Free Space Activity Pack full of lots of fun space themed activities!
Log in to Busy Things for even more space fun…
Busy Things includes literally 100s of games and activities, including a section on space! You can build a spaceship, create planet fact files and test your knowledge with out planet labelling interactive worksheet!
We hope our space themed activity ideas have inspired you to have a Space Day!
Do remember that LGfL have many resources which can also be used for a space themed activity day.
If you haven’t used it yet, this week would be a perfect time to launch Space Adventures, this unique and engaging cross curricular resource is based around an original story commissioned by LGfL by the award-winning author Cath Howe, entitled Space Adventures: Mission to the Moon it fits in perfectly with a space themed day.
It features dramatic video content and a virtual reality experience linked to the narrative. The aim is to draw the learner into the turn of events that threatens the ability of our intrepid astronaut Tazz to return safely back to earth. Will her on board computer be enough to get her back safely or will she need to draw on her maths and science knowledge and understanding? You can watch a trailer below:
The resource features a comprehensive set of resources for Maths, Literacy and Science and a Computing unit created by Max Wainwright, author of the popular espresso coding resource for primary schools.
If you are feeling creative, why not try some green screening? In this video Simon Pile, from Anson Primary talks through how he used Space Adventures with his class. The ideas could be adapted for parents to try with their children at home:
(Ideas mentioned include: recording your own space adventures, writing space poems, recording your own space music and creating animations whilst also researching about anti-gravity).
You can also find lesson plans and activities from Switched on Science – The Out of this World Unit for Year 5 is perfect to use for a space themed activities and to help pupils gain a better understanding of the solar system.
To help ease the burden, if you are on Twitter or Facebook do look at #RemoteLearning #Edtech #HomeLearningUK people are being encouraged to share resources and make learning accessible by adopting these hashtags.
Remember, if you need any support with our learning content you can contact the Inspire Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the LGfL Switchboard: 020 82 555 555. Also visit coronavirus.lgfl.net which is continually updated with advice and support during the partial school closures.