Tot School: Outer Space

Welcome back to another week of tot-school! I hope my North American readers who are currently suffering under the polar vortex are still able to enjoy themselves being cooped up at home.  Here on the East Coast, it's been colder than even dropped to -25 (F) overnight this week, which to my family & friends in Minnesota & Wisconsin seems rather durable.  But we've been very busy indoors learning all about outer space.  What a wonderful week it was too, as Reagan has now discovered a new interest, & within the week he has memorized all of the planets.  I'm one proud mama over here every time I listen to him go through the list & even mention satellites & the asteroid belt. 

The books he found most interesting this week were as follows:

  1. Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star by Jane Cabrera.  The classic lullaby is accompanied by lovely illustrations of different animals across the world. 
  2. Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle.  The author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar writes a beautiful story about a girl who wants to play with the moon & a father who will get it for her. Kids love the different lift-flaps throughout the book.
  3. ABC's of Space by Chris Ferrie.  This takes a very educational approach to outer space, but is perfect for all ages. As you explore the ABC's of Space, multiple levels of text  can be read depending on the age & interest of your child. 
  4. Zoom, Rocket, Zoom by Margaret Mayo. This colorful story introduces children to rockets, land rovers, spaceships, astronauts & more!
  5. 8 Little Planets by Chris Ferrie. This whimsical book about our solar system celebrates the differences in each planet with fun little rhymes.
For our field trip, we had planned to go to the little planetarium at the community college near us, but unfortunately with the weather, they cancelled their showing.  So instead, we just did extra space projects.

The first craft we did was to make Planet Suncatchers. You can find the tutorial here.  I felt that ours came out incredibly thin & rather flimsy so I ended up sandwiching contact paper between the planet, that way it could withstand toddler handling.

They weren't sized proportionately, but we enjoyed them all the same.
The next project we did was Star Stamping. Basically we just took yellow paint on a plastic star cookie cutter (or as Reagan calls it, "The magic Christmas star") & stamped them on craft paper.  Simple, yet effective & entertaining.

Lastly, I created Constellation Lacing Cards.  Lacing cards allow for young children to practice focus & fine motor skills as they try to lace yarn through the holes.  This project took a few hours off and on, but we thoroughly enjoyed it & now Reagan knows the constellations of Leo, Orion, & the dippers (or Ursas)!

Have you introduced outer space to your tots yet? If so, what kinds of projects did you use?  Let me know in the comments!


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