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Child's Play Home | Preschool Themes | Sun, Moon, Stars & Planets

Sun, Moon, Stars & Planets Theme

Crafts & Activities
Songs, Finger Plays & Nursery Rhymes

Crafts & Activities

Prop Box Ideas: (You will find easy instructions for making some of your own props below) 
helmets, moon boots, white clothing for their space suits, gloves, goggles, telescopes, binoculars, old headphones, large boxes to build rocket ships, oxygen tanks, 

Glow in the Dark Creations
With glow in the dark paints, crayons or markers, have the children color night scenes on dark construction paper (blue and black work best!) 

Build a Rocket Ship
Get out those toothpicks and marshmallows and the kids can build their very own rocket ship!  Add details with a black marker. 

More Rocket ships 
toilet paper roll, aluminum foil, cone shaped paper cups (or make your own cones), glue, red tissue paper strips (flame), scotch tape. 

Give each child a toilet paper roll and a piece of foil to cover the tube.  Glue the cone shaped paper cup on top.  Glue or tape the red tissue paper in place for flames shooting out of the bottom of the paper roll.  The rocket ship can be decorated with sequins, paper bits, markers - whatever their little hearts desire! 

Planet Talk!
Hang up a large poster with all the planets on it.  Teach the children the names of them:  Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and don't forget the Sun and the Moon! 

Astro Talk! 
Tell the children that astronauts are community helpers.  Discuss how astronauts get to the moon, how they eat, sleep, communicate with us on earth.  Talk about why they go to the moon.  Where does the space shuttle take off from?  How do they land?    Show pictures of the moon and discuss why people, plants and animals cannot live there.  Borrow books from the library to help.  Display pictures of astronauts and rocket ships.  Did you know that Moon Day is celebrated on July 20th?  It is that day in 1969 that the first mission landed on the moon. 

Musical Space Trip 
Plan a space trip to visit all the planets!  Make space helmets (see below) for all the kids (don't forget yours!)  Play some "space" type music, countdown and blast off!  As you arrive at the first planet, tell them that on this planet they can only hop on one foot!  Start the music again....and explore the planet hopping on one foot.  Stop when the music stops!  Everyone gathers in a circle to begin their next journey.  After a few stops - you might want to let the kids decide on what type of planet you are landing on!  Return to earth when all the children have chosen a planet landing! 

Space Helmets
With large paper bags, cut square holes out of three sides. Cut off the bottom of the bag so that when the bag is on their head it just covers their ears. The children can decorate them by adding bits of foil, glitter, markers, crayons..etc. 

Plastic 4l milk jugs make great helmets too! Cut the handle portion out so it looks like a helmet and cover with foil. You can add pipe cleaner antennas. 

Stuffed Moons 
With newsprint cut out two large half moon crescents.  Staple around the edge, leaving room to stuff with tissue paper.   Finish stapling the edge and paint!  Display them around the room. 

Glowing Stars
Cut different sized star shapes out of the white poster board. Use glow in the dark crayons or paint to color both sides of the stars. With a hole punch make a hole in the stars and thread a piece of  clear fishing line through the hole to make a hanger for the stars. Display them around the room. 

Martian Drawings
Draw a moon, planets and stars on large pieces of white paper with a white crayon for each child ahead of time. Have the children paint the paper with a thin layer of blue or black thinned tempera paint.  For older kids, write a special martian message! 

Space Mobiles
With dough or clay recipes (see Craft Recipes) make star, moon crescents and circle shapes. Cookie cutters are great for this! The children can help.  They will each need  at least 3 of each shape.  Let dry or bake as per recipe and paint! 

Wrap large styrofoam balls with aluminum foil.  Attach long streamers of crepe paper for tails.  Use these to play a game of Meteor Catch! 

Oxygen Tanks for Astronauts
Use two 1 or 2 litre plastic pop jugs. Tape them together.  Add strips of 1 inch wide ribbon to the "tanks" to form straps (like a backpack) so the kids can wear them on their back. 

Moon Boots
With large sponges, cut out a section in the sponge so that it fits snugly around a child's foot or shoe.  Slip the sponges on their feet and they have moon boots! 

Flying Saucers
Tape two sturdy paper plates together for "flying saucers". Have the children decorate them with crayons or collage materials.  Then go outside and the children can see who can throw the farthest. 

Telescopes and Binoculars
Paper towel tubes and toilet paper rolls make great telescopes and binoculars- cover with aluminum foil! 
Add a piece of colored cellophane to the ends of the tubes - secure with tape. Add a few star stickers to the cellophane so that the children "see stars" when the look through them! 

Starry Numbers - Felt Board Activity
Cut out two sets of five or ten star shapes out of felt.  Number one set of star shapes 1-5 or 1-10; on the other set place the correct number of dots to correspond to the numbered stars.  Let the children match the numbered stars to their corresponding dotted stars. 

Star Gazing Activity 
On a piece of paper draw five or ten columns.  Place a number 1-10 at the top of each column.  With star stickers have the children match the number of stars in each column. 

Sun and Moon Dough Art 

Make two batches of playdough (one red & one yellow).  Give the children a piece of each color to make a yellow sun and a blue moon.  Let the children use their thumb to imprint "craters" into the moon surface. 

Moon Dust Pictures 
Give each child a baby food jar shaker with moon dust inside (recipe below) to create a glue picture!  Have them drizzle glue onto a piece of construction paper.  Let the glue dry and shake off the excess moon dust onto newsprint.  Save for later use on your next project! 

Moon Dust Recipe
Mix equal parts of clean dry sand and any color dry tempera paint. Add some gold or silver glitter for a sparkly affect.  Store in airtight container.  Baby food jars make great shakers - just put a few holes in the lid and make sure to screw it on tight! 


Songs, Finger Plays, Nursery Rhymes

Star Light Star Bright
Star light, Star bright 
First star I see tonight 
I wish I may, I wish I might 
Have the wish I wish tonight. 
   Then ask the children to each make a wish!

Hey Diddle Diddle
Hey diddle diddle, 
The cat and the fiddle, 
The cow jumped over the moon. 
The little dog laughed 
To see such sport, 
And the dish ran away 
With the spoon. 

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. 

I'm an Astronaut 
   Sung to "Jimmy Crack Corn" 
I'm an astronaut flying in space. 
Going in my rocket ship to someplace. 
Maybe landing on Plutooooooooo 
I'm just ready to GO! 

Ten Astronauts (finger play) 
Ten astronauts in a rocket ship 
   Hold up fingers and touch both hands together at fingertips to make point of rocket
Flying through space gonna make a little trip 
   Keep point of rocket with hands and go back and forth 
Going past Mars and Jupiter, too! 
Ten little astronauts, what a crew! Hold up 10 fingers

Four Little Stars
Four little stars winking at me, 
One shot off and then there were three. 
Three little stars with nothing to do, 
One shot off and then there were two. 
Two little stars afraid of the sun, 
One shot off and then there was one. 
One little star not having any fun, 
It shot off and then there were none! 

Astronaut Song
   Sung to "If You're Happy and You Know It" 

Outer space is where I really like to go. 
I ride inside a spaceship, don't you know? 
I like to travel near the stars, 
Wave to Jupiter and Mars. 
Outer space is where I really like to go. 

Planet Song
   Sung to Ants Go Marching 

The Planets revolve around the sun...hurrah, hurrah 
The Planets revolve around the sun...hurrah, hurrah 
The Planets revolve around the sun, they spin on their axis everyone 
And they all go spinning...around and around they go 

Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars...hurrah, hurrah 
Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars...hurrah, hurrah 
Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars all whirling and twirling among the stars 
And they all go spinning, around, and around they go 

Jupiter and Saturn are next in line...hurrah, hurrah 
Jupiter and Saturn are next in line...hurrah, hurrah 
Uranus, Neptune and Pluto makes nine 
And they all go spinning around, and around they go 
Boom, boom, BOOM! 

I'm a Little Rocket 
   Sung to "I'm a Little Teapot" 

I'm a little rocket pointing at the moon. 
   Raise arms above head and fingers tips touching
Now I'm getting fueled up 
   Wiggle hips
We'll be ready soon. 
    Stand up straight and tall
When it's time to board me, then I'll say 
   Slowly bend knees and crouch down - arms still above head
Blast off! Zoom!   We're on our way. 
  Jump up and shout!

The Man in the Moon
The man in the moon 
Looked out of the moon, 
Looked out of the moon and said, 
It's time, I think, for all good children 
To think about going to bed. 

   Sung to the tune of "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" 
    Or listen to the tune on Raffi's "Singable Songs for the Very Young" Cassette/CD 

There was a man lived in the moon 
In the moon, in the moon 
There was a man lived in the moon 
And his name was Aikendrum. 

And he played upon a ladle 
A ladle, a ladle 
He played upon a ladle 
And his name was Aikendrum. 

And his hat was made of cream cheese... 
And his coat was made of roast beef... 
And his pants were made of haggis... 
There was a man lived in the moon... 

Bend and Stretch
Bend and stretch, reach for the stars. 
There goes Jupiter, here comes Mars. 
Bend and stretch, reach for the sky 
Stand on tip-e-toe, oh! so high! 



Astronaut Food Snacks 
Serve dried fruit such as apricots, dates, raisins, apple slices, banana chips.  Add shredded coconut, pumpkin seeds, 

Astronaut Pudding
Into a ziploc bag for each child, put the following: an eighth of a cup of instant pudding mix and a 1/4 cup milk.  Make sure the bags are securely closed. Have the children gently knead the mixture until the pudding forms.  Snip off one of the corners and encourage the children to squeeze the pudding into their mouths from the bag. 

Cheesy Man on the Moon 
Cut cheddar or other type of brick cheese into different sized chunks. Give the children pretzel sticks and let them put the chunks together to create their "man on the moon." 

Moon Balls
2 cups peanut butter 
1 1/3 cups honey 
2 cups raisins 
2 cups dry milk 
3 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (reserve 1/2 cup) 
Mix dry milk, raisins, and 3 cups graham cracker crumbs  Add honey and peanut butter.  Mix will (fingers work best).  Roll into small balls  Place remaining 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs in a large baggy  Place several balls at a time into the baggy and shake, then place on a cookie sheet.  Chill and eat . 

Edible Stars 
2 slices of bread (for each child) 
star shaped cookie cutters 
strawberry jam, orange marmalade, grape jelly, 
Have the children cut the bread into star shapes.  Its easier if you toast the bread first!   Have the children spread jam on their stars. 


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A special thank you to
Thanks, Grace!
for the wonderful graphics on this page.

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