This month at day school, we voyaged into outer space. It was my goal to at least get the kids acquainted with the planets in our solar system, and to somehow convey the mind-blowing idea that we live on a sphere that is hurtling through space along with countless other celestial bodies.
We read books about astronauts, took imaginary trips to Neptune on our space shuttle bed, and generally pointed our focus upwards and outwards.
Normally, I'm scrambling to figure out enough crafts to keep the kids occupied for the month, but I delighted myself by coming up with the idea to create salt dough planets. It was one craft that essentially spanned the entire month, and thus afforded me some much needed mental space outside of school hours. We could spend a morning making the dough and cooking the planets, and the afternoons painting them. In the end we made the sun, and the eight planets in our solar system. It was a hands-on craft that got the kids invested and gave them some spatial understanding of the size of each planet in relation to the others. I'm not sure if they fully realized that we are on a rock hurtling through space, but they definitely got a kick out of letting their imaginations soar.