Theme Week – Space

A handwritten sign that says space week, written in silver sharpie on black paper

We’re into week two of our themes as we navigate life at home. Last week we looked at the microscopic world.  This week, we went with a space theme, which gave tons of options for play, crafts, and experiments. They loved it so much they requested a gravity theme for next week.

The info below is split up into the following categories:

  • Activities to do as a family (experiments, outdoor activities, etc.)
  • Independent activities that the kids can do during quiet time
  • Books & Videos

Week 2: Space

Family Activities

Labelling Planets

The kids had been given a set of solar system wall stickers a couple of years ago. They’ve been up on our wall in the basement. Our first task for Space week was for the kids to write out labels (in metallic sharpies, of course!) for each of the planets and paste them on the wall.

A young boy is sticking a black label for Mars up on a wall. Planet wall stickers and labels can be seen for Mercury, Venus and Earth
Labelling the planets


Smashing Space Rocks

This activity came from Pre-K Pages and was a hit (ha!). Make a flour/water mixture, coat some cotton balls, and bake them at low heat. We put them outside and the kids went to town smashing them with hammers, wearing proper safety goggles of course. A child's hand holds out a crafted moon rock in their open palm

A child's hand wearing a striped red and navy gloves holds a blue and grey plastic hammer. A fabricated moon rock is seen next to it, in motion, after being smashed


Paper Mâché Asteroids

Full disclosure: we started this paper mâché project to make Easter eggs. The kids hadn’t been too interested in painting them, so they sat for a week as newspaper covered blobs. When we started space week, we realized that the bumpy creations would be perfect for asteroids. The kids were much more eager to paint and precision was not a priority. Once they were finished, we hung them from the ceiling between Mars & Jupiter on and added an Asteroid Belt label on the strings.

A young girl is picking up a string from the ground, attached to a paper mâché asteroid. She holds another string with another asteroid in her other hand
Prepping our paper mâché asteroids to hang in the solar system


Chalk Solar System

Using the Exploratorium Calculator, I calculated out a scaled down orbital radius for each planet. I chose a sun diameter of 1.2m, which allowed us to fit the whole solar system on our short street. We measured one adult foot print to be about 1m and then counted our steps to determine the distance between each planet. Starting at Neptune, we drew a tiny chalk dot, wrote a big label, and then carried on towards the sun. The kids took note that we had much fewer steps between planets as we began to approach the sun.

A young girl and a young boy look at the ground as the boy writes Venus in chalk. The girl's shadow is seen above Venus

Once it was complete, we let some neighbours know about the drawings and invited them to walk the solar system, too.

A chalk drawing of a sun with the label "sun". The sun is filled with yellow, orange, and red swirls.
The Sun


Crater Creation

We had been talking about asteroids, meteors, meteorites, and meteoroids. We set up a fun and simple activity to explore how craters are created. We filled a silicone bread pan with flour and then covered it with a thin layer of hot chocolate. We headed outside and the kids dropped marbles into the pan to make craters.

A silicone bread pan filled with flour
Flour layer done
A silicone bread pan filled with flour. A package of Carnation hot chocolate sits on the corner
Ready for the hot chocolate
A silicone bread pan filled with flour, covered with a thin dusting of hot chocolate.
Hot chocolate layer finished
A strainer taps cocoa into a silicone bread pan filled with flour,
Sprinkling on the hot chocolate layer

I thought this activity might only last 30 seconds, but the kids loved it and asked for more and more marbles.



We were fortunate to have been given a box of vintage LEGO from a neighbour. After researching some of the pieces, we were able to put together a bunch of proper LEGO space sets, as well as some creative space-inspired research stations and robots.
A collection of vintage space lego sets sitting on four grey lego boards, atop a dining table

Space play dough

I made play dough and added glitter. Tada! Space play dough. Sometimes it’s the simple things.

A lumpy turquoise blob of turquoise glitter play dough sits on a wooden board.
Glittery space play dough. We ran out of salt and it is a bit lumpy, but so are planets.

Quiet Activities

For visual discrimination

Space math (I took away the one and added 11 & 12 so they could use two dice and put a token in for the sum. Kinder kid also put together a lego piece for each one that showed that many dots which was a fun exercise)
Kinder kid kept asking for math worksheets for quit time, so we used a few:

Books + Videos

We’ve enjoyed these books & videos when discussing the unseen:

The Darkest Dark by Chris Hadfield

Star Wars: Phonics by Quinlan B Lee

These videos were all online or borrowed from our local library:

Go Noodle – Hop Hop Astronaut

Bill Nye the Science Guy – S1E6 Gravity, S1E19 Outer Space, and S5E2 Space Exploration

Discover the Universe

Space Racers (available on Netflix)

Next week…Gravity (and spacetime) week!