Your little astronauts are going to have a blast with these space messy play ideas! There are so many ways to incorporate some messy play ideas into your next space theme.
I’ve gathered over 20 messy sensory, science, and art invitations centered around planets, stars, and space. So the kids are going to be having a ton of fun as they learn and get messy!
You don’t have to wait until your next space unit to try some of these ideas, though. They’d be perfect around Earth Day, when learning “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” or just because. I firmly believe any time is a good time for messy play!
Space Messy Play Ideas
I’ve separated the ideas into two main categories – art and crafts, as well as science and sensory. This way, it’s easier for you to find just the right activity for your students.
To find all of the details about a specific project, click on the blue and underlined text. This will bring you to the individual posts – some are here on Fun-A-Day, while others are fun ideas I found around the web.
Here are some of the materials you’ll use with the space messy play ideas (I may get commissions for purchases made through links in this post):
- Coffee filters
- Baking soda
- Liquid watercolors
- Shaving cream
- Liquid starch
- Rubbing alcohol
So take a peek into your supply closet and see what you have on-hand. You might already have just what you need for a few of the activities. If not, maybe you’re due a trip to the craft store!
Messy Space Art and Crafts
Now, let’s jump into the arty space messy play ideas! These art and craft ideas are sure to inspire some creativity in your little space enthusiasts.
Teach the kids about the solar system, and then make coffee filter planets (and a sun!) to display in the classroom.
Add a bit of literacy with name constellation process art.
Discuss how the day sky looks different than the night sky. Then make some day and night art for preschoolers. Or just focus on the glow-in-the-dark stars art!
A paper mache solar system would be an amazing collaborative art activity for the kids.
Let the kids paint a liquid watercolor galaxy after taking a peek at some galaxy images from the Hubble Space Telescope.
If your students love all things rocks, try making these galaxy painted rocks.
Make puffy planets with the kids. The children can focus on just their favorite planets, or they can create the entire solar system.
Teach the children a new art technique with a watercolor space painting. I love that you can tweak this idea for a variety of concepts and colors.
After making marbled planets, you can work with the kids on an interactive writing (or modeled writing) experience about each planet.
Make a puffy paint moon to go with the puffy planets shared earlier.
Help the children learn how the moon got its craters with an art (and science!) activity with clay.
You can also use these alcohol resist planets to teach a new art method. They let you weave some science into your art.
Space Sensory Messy Play
After all the art fun, try some space messy play ideas that center on science or sensory play. These activities encourage the kids to explore with their senses and ask questions as they’re learning about space.
Start out with some fizzy stars. It’s a super simple setup, and the kids will oooh and aaah over all the fizzing.
Set up a space ice melt activity. Your students can be space explorers saving their fellow astronauts trapped in ice.
Make a space sensory bin, or have the kids help you put it together. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even let the kids assist with dyeing the sensory materials!
If you’re new to messy play, this space play dough is a good place to start. It’s engaging but not super high on the messy scale (but it’s not a zero on the scale either).
Teach the kids how to make galaxy slime! You can easily make your slime different colors, depending on what you and the kids prefer. You can see the slime in action here:
Encourage the kids to chat about the science and sensory aspects of galaxy oobleck after you make it together. Adjust the colors used as you wish!
Use simple science staples to make fizzing planets. Be sure to research the different colors of each planet before making them.
Put together a water-based galaxy sensory bin for your students. My students loved the glowing aspects of it!
Have the kids use a glitter stardust writing tray to explore mark-making and writing with a messy sensory twist.
Well, now that you have some awesome space messy play ideas, which one are you going to try first? Be sure to pin this for future reference!
Preschool Space Lesson Plans
Let Preschool Teacher 101 save you a ton of planning time with fully-developed, done-for-you preschool resources. Our space lesson plans would pair perfectly with all of the space messy play ideas! The lesson plans come with weekly plans, detailed daily plans, editable planning templates, book suggestions, and coordinating printables. Click on the image below to get yours:
And here are a few more resources for your budding astronauts:
You can also find us on Teachers Pay Teachers.
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