Are your children learning about the solar system in their science lessons? Do you want to help them bring a fun and creative element to this topic? Then why not get your children involved in an exciting science project?
Creative projects can let your children explore different ways of learning. This is important since our children learn differently, and unconventional ways of learning can often help deepen their understanding. Arty and practical projects are also fantastic ways to engage your children in a topic, so it won’t even feel like work to them.
The solar system can often be a challenging topic for children to understand. A practical and visual project will let them explore how the solar system works for themselves. Here are 6 Solar System Model Project Ideas that you could try with your children:
This might be the most recognizable solar system project and perhaps the most simple to prepare. All you will need is a card and some string. Start by making your planets – cut out circles in different sizes according to which planets they will be. Don’t forget to check how the dimensions of the world compare to get your mobile as accurate as possible.
Next, color each planet in the correct color. Then, look at some of the details on each planet’s surface. You can draw these and use different colors to make your solar system mobile more accurate and beautiful.
Punch a hole in the top of each planet, then thread some string through the hole so they’re ready to be hung up. Next, cut a much larger circle out of a piece of card or cardboard to make the base of your mobile, then punch a hole for each planet around it. Finally, hang your planets on the floor in the correct positions by threading them through the holes and tying a knot to keep them from slipping out again.
Finally, attach some string to the top of the base, then you can hang your solar system mobile wherever you like! You might want to try the Solar System Mobile Craft Activity below for a simplified version of this project.
Solar system cake
Fancy turning the solar system into a tasty treat? A solar system cake will always be a popular choice. It may not be the easiest project, but it’ll be the most delicious.
A chocolate cake is usually the best type to make into a solar system since the dark color can represent space. But first, you’ll need to find some decorations representing your planets. Colorful coated chocolate sweets are ideal for smaller planets; you might want to use small biscuits or fondant icing for the bigger planets and the sun.
Once you’ve baked your chocolate cake base, cover the top with chocolate icing. This will be the glue to stick your solar system on top. Start by placing your sun in the middle. Then, using white icing, pipe eight concentric circles around the cake to represent the orbits of the planets. FInally, place each of your planets in the right order anywhere on their orbit ring. Once everyone has seen your creation, go ahead and eat it!
A playdough solar system model is an ideal project for younger children. It won’t be too challenging, and your children can learn from molding their models with their hands and exploring different shapes, textures, and colors.
If possible, try to find different playdough colors to match the planets’ colors. Then, mold each world using the right amount of playdough and paint to match the earth. If you’re feeling extra creative, you could use little bits of other colors to stick on your planets to add some details.
You can then arrange your model however you like. One idea is to get some black card or paper to use as a base, then place your planets on the form in the right positions. For added effect, why not use glitter on the paper to make a starry space background? If your children need some help with the order of the planets, the Planets in Order Display Banner could be a useful tool.
Snowglobe solar system
Why not make your solar system project an ornament you can put on display? A snow globe is a perfect way to do this, and it’s really rewarding to see your finished project.
To make your snowglobe, you’ll need a mason jar, glitter, glue, paint, water, fishing wire, and some molding clay that can be hardened. Start by making your planets out of the clay, making sure to make them small enough to fit in the jar. You should also poke a small hole in the top of the planets for the wire. Let the clay harden, then paint your worlds in the right colors. You might want to add a layer of gloss over this too.
Thread some fishing wire through the holes in the planets, then glue the other end of the wire to the bottom of the inside of the jar. When you hold the jar upside down, your planets should hang inside. Next, pour water into the pot, add glitter, and seal it. Finally, flip your jar upside down again and give it a shake to see the full effect of your mini solar system in a snowglobe.
A felt model solar system brings a tactile aspect to a science project, which could be ideal for younger children. They can learn through touch as well as visual learning. For this project, you’ll need different colored felt to match the colors of the planets, as well as a large black piece to make the space background. You’ll also need a needle, thread, and some stuffing material.
Before starting this project, ensure your child is supervised using the needle and thread. You can use the hand for younger children while they show you what to do.
Start by cutting circles out of the felt to make your planets. You could use a pen to draw on any details. Then, sew each planet onto the black background with the needle and thread. This can help develop fine motor skills. Before you sew it around, remember to push some stuffing inside to make the planets 3-dimensional.
You could try using a black cushion cover as your base, leaving you with a fun solar system cushion! You might like to try the Fine Motor Skills Threading Cards to practice threading with your children before you start the real thing.
Giant chalk solar system
Looking for a way to bring your children’s learning outside? Then you could try this solar system project in the playground or a garden. All you need is a space with a dark tarmac floor, where you’ll be allowed to draw on it. You’ll also need a chalk set with various colors.
This solar system model would make a brilliant group project since your children must work together to get their solar system right. Start by drawing a big sun in the middle of the space. Then, draw concentric circles around the sun to represent the planets’ orbits. On each orbit line, remove the correct world using the right color chalk.
Once you’re finished, you’ll have the biggest solar system model out of everyone! Make sure to take photos of your model before it gets washed away by the rain.
Pom-pom solar system
For this project, you can choose how much of a challenge you want to take on. For example, you might like to buy some pom-poms to build your solar system, or you could go all the way by making your pom-poms! For this, you’ll need a cardboard template in a donut shape, a ball of wool, and some scissors. First, wrap the yarn around the template until it’s full, then cut the thread around the edge of the template, tying off the cut pieces. Repeat this until you have a pom-pom for each planet. Using different colors for each earth can make this effective.
Once you have your pom-poms, you can stick them onto a large piece of black card in the right order. You might want to draw the orbits of the planets on the card in white chalk. Alternatively, you could make a solar system jumper with your pom-poms. If you feel confident in your sewing skills, why not sew the pom-poms onto a plain black jumper? This will be an effective solar system model that you can show off to everyone you see when you wear it.
Why not throw a healthy spin on your solar system project? There’s no need to stick to conventional materials to make a fantastic model, so get creative and try something different! If you like the solar system cake but you’re looking for a slightly healthier option, the fruity planets project could be perfect. First, you must find some different fruits representing your planets. Think about shape and color while you’re looking for the right fruits. For example, a green apple could make a brilliant Earth. Then, what about a nice orange and pink grapefruit for the giant Jupiter? A honeydew melon could be your sun.
To arrange your fruity solar system, there are several ways you could try. For example, you might make a mobile model by hanging each piece of fruit from some string. Or, you could cut each fruit in half, then place them on a flat black surface. But, of course, the best part of this project is that you can eat it once you’re finished! And, because it’s a healthy fruit, you don’t need to feel guilty about it.