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Of all the activities we have done to learn about space, I don’t think any was as eagerly anticipated as this one was. My kids were so excited about making a model solar system it was crazy. I absolutely loved their enthusiasm for this project and I loved how excited it made XGirl, in particular, to continue learning about all things space-related.
Note: For more space-related activities, see my Space Unit Study page.
To do this activity, I decided to purchase a solar system making kit. There are many great ones out there, but the one I eventually selected was the 3D solar system kit from 4M.
Using the materials in the kit, my painted each of the planets. They did their best to paint each planet accurately, according to the pictures we reviewed. They had lots of questions about why the planets were different colors. They also got to experience first hand, by holding the models, how some planets are bigger than others.
After letting the paint dry overnight, we went back on the second day to add accents of glow-in-the-dark paint to the planets for added effect.
Once the glow-in-the-dark paint was dry, it was time to assemble the planets. The kids had a mini-argument over who would get to assemble Saturn, since they both wanted to add the rings.
The kit came with a mobile to hang the planets from. We followed the directions to know which planet to hang from which arm of the mobile. The kids helped measure the correct distance on the mobile arms to hang each planet.
Once our mobile was assembled, we hung it from a corner of the kids’ room. This solar system mobile is the pride and joy of their room right now. And it was a great way to combine both art and science in one really engaging activity.
If you are building a model solar system, you might also enjoy my Solar System 3-Part Cards as well!
More resources to learn about the planets
More posts from Gift of Curiosity about the planets and solar system: