Sunday, November 18, 2012

Preschool Science: Space Unit

Space...the final frontier! 

This space sensory box is filled with odds and ends we already had around the house. I have noticed that Aiden enjoys his toys as if they were brand new when they are repackaged as sensory boxes.


We had a playdate with some friends and made some galaxy playdoh. We found the recipe at the Fairy Dust Teaching blog. It was so sparkly and pretty!

 We are reading lots of space books. I found a gazillion wonderful activities in NASA's 3...2...1...Liftoff Guide. I placed the activities I printed from the guide and placed them in small baskets along with any needed manipulatives.


In this activity from NASA's Liftoff Guide Aiden and Elle rolled the dice and raced to be the first to build their  rocket ships.

 Another NASA activity involved learning the names of the space shuttle components and putting them together to create a space shuttle. As an extension the children designed their own using pattern blocks.


The children worked together to build a space station using blocks (We used our Wedgits). Then they had to design equipment to solve a series of space station problems presented in the NASA guide. This was an excellent thinking activity and really fun.

Aiden looked at three different kinds of rockets and then build one using his blocks.

Aiden measured everything in the house (Even our pug, Max) using rockets for some non-standard measurement fun.

Aiden really liked putting his astronauts in space. Later we did some patterning with astronaut counters.                     I  purchasd these years ago at an AIMS (Activities Integrating Math and Science) conference. They sell them on their website for around $5.

We began our space study with the moon. We read, "If You Decide to Go to the Moon" by Faith McNulty and "The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons."   

I sewed astronaut felties and put pictures of their faces in them. Aiden thought this was hilarious. Elle wasn't so sure!

We ate yummy Space Goldfish while we read our moon we need an excuse to eat Goldfish!.


We used textured paint (flour and grey sparkly paint) to paint moons. They are still wet in this                       picture, but they had very moonlike looking texture when they dried. Check out iheartcraftythings for the exact recipe.

We made moon sand using flour and baby oil. It smelled wonderful! Aiden dropped 'meteors' (marbles) from the kitchen chair to make craters. Fumbling Through Parenthood had a good recipe and some fun ideas to go with it.

Aiden took his moon sand out to his fort and played with it with his 'guys'. Unfortunately, it ended up back in the house  (i.e. ALL over the house) while I was doing laundry...and is now in the belly of the vacuum cleaner. Some days I think perhaps worksheets might not be so bad after all! LOL!   

The children took turns being the Earth and Moon. Aiden is orbiting the Earth in the picture above.

They also had fun making the different phases of the moon using a flashlight. Elle looks unhappy                         in the picture because Aiden kept getting the 'sun' in her eyes.

The Oreo phases of the moon was my favorite activity. 

I printed off these fantastic moon phase cards from 2 Teaching Mommies and Aiden and Elle                           put them in order.

Then we sang a song about the moon phases to the tune of, "The Ants go Marching In". They ran to the correct moon phase and stood on it when its name was mentioned in the song. Waxing vs. Waning was a bit tricky, but it was fun!

We discussed the differences in day and night using  Divya Srinivasan beautiful book, "Little Owls Night". Aiden then sorted these diurnal/nocturnal cards from the wonderful Spell Outloud blog.

The children then drew our house at night and in the daytime.

Intently painting the planets. I found this shadow match activity at 2 Teaching Mommies. They have a ton of great space downloads! Besides sequencing, we also did a lot of reading about the planets.

We will be continuing our Space theme through December. 

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