My preschool students have decided that they’d love to learn more about space soon. Based on their increasing interest, and their amazingly thought-out questions, I’ll be teaching a space theme next month. I plan on incorporating coffee filter planets into my plans! It’s a simple space craft for kids to learn about the planets.
Are you following Fun-A-Day’s Space Theme Pinterest board?
How to make a fun space craft with the kids
I keep calling this a preschool craft, as it has an end goal in mind. However, it is more of a mix of craftiness and process art. The children don’t need to make their planet sun catchers the same we did, and they get to explore what happens when water is absorbed by colorful coffee filters.
Cut the eight planets out of coffee filters. I did this free-hand, and the planets are obviously not scaled correctly! I left Jupiter, the largest planet, as an intact coffee filter. Then I cut out the rest of the planets in descending order by size. I wanted to have them sized differently to help the kiddos see how the planets compare to each other.
What to do
Read a lot of fun planet books to the kiddos first, so they have a basic understanding of the solar system. Real photos of the planets are a must, too! This craft is a fun way to extend their knowledge and help them order the planets.
Starting with Mercury, have the kiddos color in the coffee filter planets with markers.
Once the coffee filters are colored in, let the children spray water onto them. It’s best to thoroughly coat the marker drawings with water without totally drowning the coffee filters.
My son really wanted to help me test out this activity, and he’s already planned out some more ideas to teach the preschoolers about space! Here are the colors we went with for each planet (based on observations made from books and photos):
- Mercury – gray and brown
- Venus – yellow and brown
- Earth – green and blue
- Mars – red and orange
- Jupiter – red, brown, orange, and yellow
- Saturn – brown and yellow
- Uranus – blue
- Neptune – blue and purple
Please note that we didn’t include the dwarf planet Pluto. If my preschoolers want to include Pluto when they do this activity, they can!
Once all of the coffee filter planets are dry, put them up in the windows! They make pretty sun catchers, if I do say so myself. At first, we put them up in the windows with tape, but they didn’t stay as well as we’d hoped. So we placed the planets on a piece of contact paper that’s taped up in the window, sticky side out. I went back and labeled the planets too, of course!
Here’s a taste of the early education concepts this little space craft for kids incorporates:
- Fine motor skills (coloring and using the spray bottle)
- Science (talking about the planets’ locations and other details)
- Math (discussing colors, ordering the planets from 1st through 8th, and comparing sizes)
- Literacy (all of the oral language involved throughout the craft and the words labeling the planets)
Space-themed lesson plans
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
Check out more space crafts for kids, along with other ideas for a preschool space theme:
Passport to the Planets: A Science Writing Prompt for Kids by Still Playing School