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Theme and activities

Educational activity planning by theme: games, crafts, coloring pages, stories, songs & rhymes, and printable activity sheets.

Planets

Planets, Print and laminate. Sit in a circle with the group. When you show them the sun, children stand up, dance, and wiggle.

What the club has to offer

Coloring pages, word flashcards, picture game, and activity sheets to complement your theme

CIRCLE TIME

(Open sun and moon) Print and laminate. Sit in a circle with the group. When you show them the sun, children stand up, dance, and wiggle. When you show them the moon, they lie down on the floor and pretend to sleep. Alternate the sun and moon. End with the moon to help children calm down. Continue your discussion.

 

AREA SETUP

Thematic bin

Here is a great idea to create a thematic bin. Use a cardboard box covered with pictures. Recycling bins or plastic storage containers are other options. This is ideal to store various items related to the theme. You may use the illustrations from our picture game to decorate your bin.

 

 A few examples of items to add to your bin are:

astronaut figurines, puzzles related to the theme, space station, moon, flashlight, rocket, space storybooks, planet illustrations, space shuttle, movies about space, glow in the dark stars or planets, gray, brown, or white modeling dough, cotton balls, planet tattoos, dark blanket, laminated planet illustrations with perforated contours for lacing, empty paper towel rolls with crepe paper to create rockets, different sizes of balls, etc.

 

VARIOUS WORKSHOPS

Have fun with these wonderful planet workshop ideas provided by Caroline Allard.

 

Construction or building blocks:

  • Cover the area with space-like materials. Part of a solar blanket, a camping mattress, or an aluminum car mat are terrific.
  • Cover blocks with aluminum paper
  • Add Styrofoam balls for space constructions.

Arts & crafts:

  • Aluminum paper or other metallic materials
  • Styrofoam balls and toothpicks are great for creating solar systems
  • Silver or bronze-colored crayons
  • Gel crayons are perfect for drawing on dark paper
  • Coloring pages related to the theme
  • Rocket, space shuttle, planet, and star stencils
  • Sparkles and glitter glue
  • Anything that reminds you of outer space

Role play:

  • Gather your craziest costumes and use them for creating costumes which are out of this world! Remember to take pictures...
  • Cover your kitchen area with bubble wrap and invite children to cook for astronaut

Manipulation:

  • Outer space memory game. Use pictures found on the internet or the educatall picture game illustrations
  • Blue, white, or gray modeling dough. You can add sparkles. Children will love admiring their sparkly creations
  • Thematic puzzles
  • Space-colored beads can be used to create special bracelets are anti-alien necklaces.
  • Cardboard planets with perforated contours for lacing

Reading and relaxation:

  • Storybooks about planets, outer space, or means of transportation
  • Hang a piece of tulle over your area and deposit stars (confetti) on top
  • You may also decorate your area with Christmas lights to represent shining stars

Music and motor skills:

  • Song box with a variety of songs about space
  • Different-sized balls (planets) can be thrown into a basket or other recipient decorated to look like a rocket

Sensory bins:

  • Small shallow container filled with sparkles
  • Add sparkles to your sand tablePlanets - Activity sheets

Science:

  • Hot and cold activities are great for explaining how temperature varies from one planet to the next
  • Experiments involving oxygen (how fire extinguishes in the absence of oxygen for example)

ACTIVITY SHEET

(Open Activity sheet - Planets) (Open Activity sheet - Tracing stars)
Print and follow instructions.

 

PICTURE GAME

The pictures may be used as a memory game or to spark a conversation with the group. Use them to decorate the daycare or a specific thematic corner. (Open picture game - Planets) Print, laminate, and store in a "Ziploc" bag or in yourPlanets - Picture game thematic bins.

 

WORD FLASHCARDS

The flashcards may be used during circle time to spark a conversation with the group or in your reading and writing area. They may also be used to identify your thematic bins. (Open word flashcards - Planets) planet, sun, astronaut, moon, rocket, space shuttle, Earth, star, sky, outer space, galaxy, constellation

 

ACTIVITIES

Jump on the planets
Print the different planets (Open Planets). Laminate them and deposit them here and there on the floor. Play music. When the music stops, children must jump onto a planet. This game is a variation of musical chairs.

 

Gravity and space
Give each child a balloon. Have them draw an astronaut face on their balloon. Children can throw their balloon into the air and watch it float like an astronaut. Explain gravity in space.

 

Walk on the moon
Create an obstacle course using hoola hoops, chairs, etc. Show children how astronauts walk on the moon. They must go about the obstacle course moving as if they are weightless. Remind them they are no longer children, they are astronauts!

 

Planets - Story and memorySpace story and memory game
Print, cut out, and laminate the pictures. (Open story and memory game - Space) Place the cards face down on the floor. Children pick three cards and invent a story in relation to the illustrations. Variation: Print the pictures twice and use as a memory game.

 

Constellations
Turn all the lights off. Invite children to move about the daycare with flashlights. They can create constellations by shining their flashlights on the wall.

 

Surprise house
Purchase small glow in the dark stars and moons. Glue them under a table. Cover the table with a large blanket to create a dark house. Allow children to go into the surprise house to discover the stars and moons. Repeat the activity using stickers which do not glow in the dark. Children enter the surprise house once again with a flashlight to discover the new surprise.

 

Spaceship
Use three or four cardboard boxes or one large appliance box. Have children paint the boxes grey. Place a small table inside. Add an old computer keyboard, it will represent the spaceship's controls. Wrap a bicycle helmet with aluminum paper. Also place old headphones inside. Provide children with a variety of materials they can use to create an alien costume. Aluminum paper, buttons, felt, sparkles, and pipe cleaners are perfect. 3...2...1...blast off!

 

Planet game
Children choose a planet (represented by hoola hoops or illustrations) and go to it. Give a child a star (ball) and have him name a planet and throw the star towards that planet.

 

The sky
Create a collective painting on a large sheet of paper. Have the group paint their very own solar system. Make sure they include the sun, the moon, stars, and planets. Once dry, glue their solar system to the ceiling directly above their naptime area.

 

A meteorite shower
Crumple brown tissue paper to create lots of tiny balls. Children throw them everywhere in the daycare, it's a meteorite shower!

 

Planet alignment
Collect several different sizes of Styrofoam balls. Paint them and thread a piece of yarn into each ball. Tie them to a hanger.

 

Lost in space
Photocopy and laminate pictures of the different planets. Display them on the walls of the daycare. Begin the activity by telling the group you are lost in space. Name or describe which planet you are looking for. Children fly over to the correct planet as if they were rockets. Visit each planet until you return home, to Earth.

 

Holes in the moonPlanets - Moon with hole
(Open Moon with holes) Cut the moon out of yellow construction paper. Perforate the contour using a hole-punch. Have children thread a piece of yarn into each hole.

 

CULINARY ACTIVITIES

Invent a story telling children how an astronaut gave you the recipe for moon water. Use a pitcher ¾ full of water and lemon quarters. Stir and serve at snack time.

 

Star or moon banana
Give each child a banana at snack time. Have them keep the banana peel and use it to shape a star or a moon.

 

Astronaut snack
Invite children to taste a variety of dried fruit. Explain that astronauts cannot eat the same foods we eat. Their food must be as light as possible.

 

ARTS & CRAFTS

The galaxy
Paint planets on Styrofoam balls and hang them from the ceiling.

 

Collective constellation
Glue a large piece of dark blue construction paper to a plank. As a group, add planets, stars, cotton balls to represent clouds, etc. Styrofoam balls which have been cut in half and painted are ideal for planets.

 

The robot
Provide metal cans, empty toilet paper rolls, aluminum paper, and other materials children can use to make robots. You can attach their pieces together with hot glue.

 

Stencils
(Open stencils - Space) Cut the shapes out of heavy cardboard using an "Exacto" knife so the center is empty. Children can use sponges to make prints on paper with paint.

 

A shining star
Have children cut out a star shape. Have them cover the shape with aluminum paper. Hang the stars throughout the daycare.

 

Planets - Creative coloringCreative drawing
(Open creative drawing - My home seen from space) Print for each child. Children draw their home so astronauts can see it from outer space.

 

My rocket
Children each build their own rocket to fly to outer space. Give them empty toilet paper rolls. Have them cover them with aluminum paper or any other metallic paper you may have. Add orange construction paper to represent flames at the rockets' base.

 

Telescope
Use empty paper towel or wrapping paper rolls. Provide children with various materials they may use to decorate their telescope. Glue star stickers throughout the daycare. Ask children to find them looking through their telescopes.

 

COLORING PAGES

(Open coloring pages theme - Planets) Print.

 

SONGS & RHYMES

Twinkle twinkle little star

 

Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are
Up above the world so high
Like a diamond in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little star
How I wonder what you are


Solar System

by: Patricia Morrison

sung to: Mary had a little lamb

 

We're part of the solar system
Solar system, solar system
We're part of the solar system
With nine planets so round

 

Our planet is called Earth
Called Earth, called Earth
Our planet is called Earth

It is so beautiful

 

The sun is close to keep it warm
Keep it warm, keep it warm
The sun is close to keep it warm
It shines on the Earth

 

SUGGESTIONS FOR THE WEEK

Planets - Solar systemJohanne Arsenault has provided suggestions for an entire week of fun activities. (Open solar system) Print.

 

The Solar Village

The Solar Village is a small village, very high in the sky. An old lady called Milky Way lives there with Mr. Sun and his nine baby planets. They are all round and colorful. Their favorite game to play is spin around dad, Mr. Sun.

 

Mercury is not very big, but he is very fast. He is the oldest planet. He likes to stay near his dad who helps him stay warm. He also enjoys being rocked in his Grandma Milky Way's arms.

 

Venus is the family's second planet. She is so beautiful. Many say she looks like a sparkling jewel made of pure gold. She is as explosive as a volcano, but also very warm and kind. Her head is often in the clouds and she tends to do things backwards.

 

The third planet's name is Earth. Earth is of a robust and well-balanced nature. Her dad, Mr. Sun, considers her to be his special planet. Earth appreciates life and never misses a chance to play with her friend Moon. Moon has always protected her. Earth is a beautiful shade of blue, just like Milky Way's eyes.

 

Mars is smaller than Venus and Earth, yet bigger than Mercury. She is the fourth planet in the family. Mars is always red with anger. She does not like to play with others. She prefers to be left alone.

 

Jupiter is the biggest of all the planets. He loves to roll around in the dirt with his friends. Because of this pastime, he always bears brown and white stripes.

 

The sixth planet is Saturn. He is blessed with great beauty. He can easily be recognized by the two yellow luminous rings which surround him. Very warm, he loves being surrounded by friends.

 

Uranus, the seventh planet is handicapped. He had an accident in the Solar Village. With the help of his friend Mr. Wind, he constantly turns around his dad. His body is covered with bluish green which gives him a gentle look.

 

Neptune has plenty of energy but is capable of being discreet and calm. She loves frequent and rapid changes. Her favorite color is light blue.

 

The last member of the family is Pluto. He is the smallest and most fragile of the planets. He is always cold. Mr. Sun sent him to live with his grandmother, Milky Way, to help him gain strength.

 

Mr. Sun, Mrs. Milky Way, and the nine planets need your help. They would like to visit their cousins, the Galaxians, whom they have never seen.

 

How could they possibly get there? Do you have any ideas? What do you think Galaxians look like?  Would you like to help organize the planet family's trip to see the Galaxians?


Monday

 

Story:
Tell the Solar Village story to your group. Invite them to find answers to the questions at the end.

 

Discussion:

How many planets live in the Solar Village? What are their names? Do they have friends? Are they all the same color? Are they all the same size? Who is the smallest? Who is the biggest? How can we help Mr. Sun and Mrs. Milky Way go on their trip?

 

Craft:
As a group, build a giant space shuttle with building blocks or empty yogurt containers. Keep in mind the planets are all round.

 

Tuesday

 

Discussion:
Talk about the different planets living in the Solar Village once again. What do they look like? Are they all the same color? Are they all the same size? What does the dad, Mr. Sun, look like? If possible, find illustrations of each planet.

 

Craft:
Create your own Solar Village with modeling dough.

 

Activity:


Floating planets
Blow up balloons and pretend they are planets. Children throw them up in the air to the sound of special space music.

 

Wednesday

 

Discussion:
Which means of transportation did the planets choose for their trip to visit the Galaxians? A spaceship which floats, a super fast rocket, or a special airplane which flies like a bird? Have children describe their choice.

 

Craft:


The planets' means of transportation
Place glue, crayons, sparkles, cone-shaped glasses, construction paper, yarn or string, buttons, tissue paper, and pompoms on the table. Add several recycled materials such as yogurt containers, bits of ribbon, empty toilet paper rolls, empty milk cartons, etc. Children use their imagination to create the means of transportation they imagined. (Watch for small items if your group includes small children)

 

Activity:
Children will have fun pretending to fly their creations. Why not take this activity outdoors if the weather is nice?

 

Thursday

 

Discussion:
I wonder what these Galaxians look like. Are they round, square, triangular, etc.? Use this discussion to review shapes. Are they bright like stars? Do you think they each have different shapes and sizes?

 

Craft:


My Galaxian
Provide children with several paper shapes and a sheet of construction paper. Have them use the shapes to invent their Galaxian. Older children can cut out their shapes on their own. Encourage children to color their Galaxian. Why not add sparkles too?

 

Activity:


I am a Galaxian
Children become Galaxians. Have them roll, walk, dance, and eat like Galaxians would. Each Galaxian may have a different way of moving. Each child can show the group his original moves.

 

Friday

 

Discussion:
Ask children if they are glad to know about the Galaxians. Tell them that we live on one of the planets, Earth. We are part of the great Solar Village.

 

Activity:
Help children admire the wonders of our planet. Go outside and show them that on Earth, we find humans, animals, trees, flowers, grass, snow, ice, etc.

 

Additional ideas

For the duration of this theme, your reading corner could be moved under a table covered with a blanket. Decorate the underside of the table with glow in the dark stars. Let children enjoy books with a flashlight.


You may also make a rocket out of a large box. Children will look forward to visiting the reading rocket!

 

 

 

Have fun!

The Educatall team

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