So many kids are intrigued about studying the planets and outer space! Astronomy is a great topic to study in your homeschool. But in addition to using amazing books, consider these 7 hands-on astronomy projects to liven up the learning and make it stick.
The simplest place to start is having your younger kids create art projects about what they learn as you study astronomy. Read an amazing book all about the planets and outer space, then grab some simple materials to create their own galaxy. You can add black holes, planets, rockets, and spaceships!
The secret is in the classic toothbrush and paint technique that really makes the artwork look like it has scattered stars. Your kids ages 3-8 will love this project.
Spinning Space Orrery
As you explore the topics of egocentricity and heliocentricity with your older kids, consider creating their own Spinning Space Orrery. What in the world is an orrery? It’s simple a mechanical model of the motion of the planets in our solar system!
You can download a printable at KiwiCo to help you create your own model. This hands-on activity will help your kids understand and retain what they learn.
This is a great engineering project for your older kids, because they will use interlocking gears to build their orrery.
DIY Moon Craters
Okay, back to the littles. Your preschoolers and early elementary kids will love to get their hands dirty creating DIY Moon Craters. In this simple experiment, they will be able to use flour and cocoa to show how moon craters are made.
Check out the video at KiwiCo to see how it works, then grab a few materials to get started yourself!
Pressure Bottle Rocket
Your tweens and teens will love to explore astronomy as they learn the physics behind a pressure bottle rocket. This design is the basis for the design of rockets that are launched into outer space.
Challenge your older kids to build several models and see how high they will go! Discuss the physics going on in this super fun DIY. Can your kids explain Newton’s third law of motion?
Help your younger kids experience how the sun moves across the sky each day by creating their very own sundial. It’s a great outdoor science project for kids ages 3-8.
Use this sundial activity as the start of a unit on astronomy. What questions does this bring up? Write them down and help your kids research the answers.
Phases of the Moon
Many young kids start to notice that the moon looks different on different days. Why does this happen?
After your kids notice this change in the moon in real life, try this Phases of the Moon science project to help them learn why it happens.
All you need for this project is a flashlight, a ball, a stick to suspend the ball from , and a string. Kids will love learning about astronomy with a hands-on project like this!
Here’s a fun hands-on a visual way to learn about constellations. All you need is some sidewalk chalk and a small pile of rocks or stones. On the sidewalk or on your driveway, help your kids draw out constellations, using the rocks for the stars.
Write the name of the constellation underneath with chalk.
Take pictures of the kids’ constellation creations and print the photos to make a little DIY book. They’ll love looking through it and relearning the constellations.
Check out dozens more space exploration and hands-on projects at KiwiCo
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