Pre-K & Preschool theme ideas for learning about space: planets, stars, astronauts.
Check here for a complete list of Books about Space!
Nursery rhymes that go well with a Space Theme:
- Star Light, Star Bright
Look for a printable poster of this rhyme on the Nursery Rhymes Page.
- Countdown to Blastoff, by Jack Hartmann on the “Math All Around Me” CD
- Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, by Jack Hartmann on the “Rhymin’ to the Beat Vol. 1″ CD
- Starlight, Starbright, by Jack Hartmann on the “Rhymin’ to the Beat Vol. 2″ CD
- Chu Ech On, “Multicultural Rhythm Stick Fun” CD, by Kimbo
- The Planets, by Gustav Holst
Look for the Space Grid Games on the Grid Games page.
We listen to slow music and pretend we were on the moon, moving in slow motion.
[Large Motor, Math]
We erase numbers 10-1 from the board as the class counts backward. We pretend to be space shuttles. The children squat on the floor and count backwards to blastoff. Everyone jumps up as high as they can.
[Fine Motor Skills]
Mix wiggle eyes into the play dough for children to find.
Coffee Filter Planets
The children paint a coffee filter with watercolors, and glue it onto black paper.
Children cut a circle out of white construction paper, cover the circle with blue tissue paper, and paint over it with liquid starch to make it stick. They tear pieces of green construction paper and glue them on the circle for the land.
The children color a paper towel tube with markers. We cover the end with a circle of black paper, attach it with a rubber band, and poke holes in the paper with a toothpick. When the viewer is held up to the light it looks like stars are shining through.
Children write each letter of their name on squares of paper, glue the letters in order on paper, and decorate it to look like a rocket.
This is an activity that goes with any theme. Choose a book that goes with the theme, and have the children retell the story.
Read the blog post here for details: story retelling
Each child has a small, medium and large sheet of black paper, and small, medium and large paper stars. They sort the stars by size and glue them on the three papers.
Children are given a piece of construction paper with a number written on it in black ink. Children place the paper on the carpet and poke small holes along the numeral with a toothpick. When they finished, they hold the paper up to the light, and it looks like stars are shining through in the shape of the number. This activity can also be done with letters.
Space Grid Game
Children use a grid game board with ten wooden stars spray-painted gold. They roll a die and count out that amount of stars to put on the grid. The object of the game is to fill the grid. Children can play alone or with other players. This game was made with stickers bought at Michaels.
We make paper rockets, which use a breath of air to blast off. To make paper rockets: [Step 1] Cut 9×12 paper in 1/4 pieces (so that your pieces are 2 1/4″ x 12″). Each child gets a 1/4″ strip. [Step 2] Help them fold it in half (hot dog fold). [Step 3] Tape it, leaving one inch at the bottom. [Step 4] Fold the top in a point and tape. [Step 5] Tear paper into 3 strips on the untaped end. Decorate the rockets with markers. Slide a straw in the untaped end of the rocket, and blow on the straw to make the rocket fly.
First we look at photos of the moon and talk about its surface (color, craters, mountains, etc.) Then we make a model moonscape. The children spread Crayola Model Magic onto a paper plate. They use toothpicks for carving and small rocks (“asteroids”) to crash into the dough to make craters. We paint them gray and add a mini American cupcake flag (can be found at Hobby Lobby and other stores).
Day and Night
On one half of the paper, children draw things they would see in the sky at night (stars, moon, etc). On the other half, they draw things they would see in the sky in the day (sun, clouds, etc).