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Blast Off with these Preschool Space Activities

lesson planning lesson plans

Are you blasting off with an outer space theme in your preschool classroom this year? 🚀

Using the theme of outer space isn't always a relatable theme - I'm mean it's not like we go there as a field trip (at least not yet!). But, a space theme becomes is engaging to young children because of the mystery and fascination of the far, far away.

Many fun and engaging learning activities can be done during a Space theme. Centers are especially engaging - I love to create a Rocketship in the dramatic play center, add black aquarium rocks and toy planets and astronauts in the sensory tub and add both fiction and non-fiction books to the library.  

Small Group & Large Group Space Lesson Plan Ideas:

After my centers are on theme, then I like to make sure I have inviting and engaging activities for small group and whole group. Here are 5 activities that my students loved during our space theme and that you may want to try:

1. Galaxy Play Dough (small group): Create space-inspired play dough for some fun fine motor fun! Follow the recipe below to create your own Galaxy Dough:

Mix together 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt and 1 tablespoon cream of tarter in a pot. Add 1 tablespoon of cooking oil, 2 cups of water and black and blue food coloring (lots of black) and mix. Heat the mixture on the stove over medium high heat. Stir until a ball forms. Let cook and knead. Add blue and silver glitter by kneading it in. Store in air-tight container.

2. Movement Cards (whole group): Explain to students that you are going to call out an action and they act it out!  I like to make sure I also have a visual of the object that represents the movement, so I use movement cards (see below).  The actions we do include:  fly like a rocket, bounce like an astronaut, twinkle like a star, rotate like the Earth, fall like a meteoroid, shine like the sun, leap like a comet and line up like the planets.  I love this activity because not only are children listening with purpose, they are also getting out some wiggles!

3. Blast Off Race Game (small group): This two player game is a fun one to practice counting and comparing sets. Look at picture of the game board below. To play, each player places a mover on the spaceship closest to them. The players take turns rolling a die and moving that many spaces on the board. The goal is making it to the moon in the center of the board. *Tip: use numeral cards in place of a die to also practice recognizing numerals.

4. Straw Rockets (whole group/small group): This can be both a small group and whole group activity! First, children can make straw rockets by decorating a small rocket cut out and taping the tip of a pipette to the back of the rocket. Then, as a whole group, students place their rocket (using the pipette) onto a straw and blow! How far can students make the rockets fly? Use a measuring tape to measure how far the rockets can fly.

5. Astroids in Space Game (whole or small group): This activity could be done during whole group or small group (depending on how many students are in your class). Take a large piece of contact paper and take off the backing. Tape the contact paper to the wall with the sticky side facing out. Provide students with foil pieces. Encourage them to wad the foil into a ball and throw it like an astroid in space.  Does the foil ball stick? If not, why? Was the ball to big and heavy? This is a great fine motor (wadding up the foil), gross motor (throwing) and problem solving.

Looking for the printables seen in the photos of this post?  I put together a space themed lesson plan for preschoolers with everything you need. All the printables seen above are included and so much more!   

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