This month we focused on space: planets, stars, and space exploration etc.
The first week we focused on stars. We started with sensory bins filled with black beans and glow in the dark stars as well as astronauts and “moon sand”.
We made different flashlight toppers using paper with holes to represent constellations or as I tell Z “star patterns”.
The boys enjoyed playing with the flash lights in the dark and chasing stars with our star machine. After a few rounds of “twinkle twinkle little star” we helped them make star bottles with food coloring, oil, and metallic stars. They watched a cartoon about how stars are born and made constellations with star stickers on black paper.
For snack time we let them make constellations using marshmallows and pretzel sticks. While they ate their snack, I read a book about constellations and how we learn about and count stars.
The second week we worked on the solar system and planets. The boys enjoyed time outside in the sunshine playing with sensory bins that this time had glow in the dark planets in them along with the stars.
They also learned about how planets orbit. Using cake tins and pie pans we put play dough in the center with planet stuck to it and a marble. The boys spun the marble around and around the edge just as planets and satellites orbit.
We also did an experiment using milk, food dye, and soap; showing how gaseous planets have swirling storms along their surface.
We made moon snacks using rice cakes as moons, cream cheese, and banana slices and cheerios as craters. While they ate their snacks we read a book about all the planets and their order from the sun.
Then everything changes week three. We had decided to not do a field trip this month and instead take a break from the space theme to focus on St. Patrick’s Day fun. For more on this see Preschool: St. Patrick’s Day.
The last week I did preschool solo. We did a review of the planets and learned about space exploration. We focused on the kinetic sand as our pretend moon with the astronauts, lunar rover, etc.
I also filled up a bin with darkly dyed water with the planets, stars, rockets, and space shuttles to simulate zero gravity in space.
We did a planet hunt using glow in the dark planets and flash lights. Afterward Z practiced naming and organizing the planets by size and how close they were to the sun.
The next day Z watched a short video on the history of space exploration and colored pictures of astronauts in space and space rockets. We also worked on the letter S for space and number 3 as in “3 . . 2 . . 1 . . blast off !”
I tried a more creative snack using a kebab skewer, marshmallows, and fruit. Sadly, I couldn’t get the fruit pieces to cooperate to shape like a rocket. Z didn’t like the marshmallows wet from the fruit. So we ended up with space cereal again (kix for planets and and baby puffs for stars).
Z loved playing planet hop scotch outside. I had him name the planets as he stepped on them. We also drew a path to zoom like a rocket ship and a rocket ship flying by the moon. While we did this Z enjoyed singing “zoom zoom we are going to the moon”
That was our month about space. How about you? Do you enjoy star gazing or learning about space exploration?