One of the facts I wanted my kids to understand about the planets is that they orbit around the sun in a large ellipse.
Taking an idea from the Montessori Astronomy Album I received when I participated in KHT Montessori’s certificate program, I set up this simple activity to give my kids a concrete understanding of how planets orbit the sun.
Note: For more space-related activities, see my Space Unit Study page.
For this activity, I provided a tray with the following materials:
- Orange play dough (to make the sun)
- A blue ball (to represent the Earth)
- A pie tin (to create the orbit)
I invited my daughter to roll a ball of orange play dough.
Then I invited her to stick it in the middle of the pie tin to represent the sun.
Then she added the blue ball to represent the Earth. I showed her how to hold the pie tin to make the Earth orbit around the sun.
Super simple. Super easy. And lesson learned.
More resources to learn about the planets
More posts from Gift of Curiosity about the planets and solar system:
- Books about the planets and solar system
- Make a model solar system
- Planets Do-a-Dot Printables
- Solar System Lacing Cards
- Solar System 3-Part Cards