August is the best time of year for kids to head outside for some stargazing. To celebrate and learn more about the summer night sky, or just add some shimmer and glitter to inside playtime during any time of the year, here are 10 space-themed crafts and activities that will have your kids seeing stars.
This brilliant shooting star artwork by Allison McDonald at No Time for Flash Cards is stellar (get it?) for getting small kids to practice fine motor skills. The shooting star’s squishy, sparkly core is sure to keep kids’ attentions long after the craft is done. Not only does Allison walk you through the art project, she also provides some great recommendations for star-themed reading.
Rachel at I Heart Crafty Things also shares her picks for moon picture books before diving into a walkthrough for her ingenious lunar masterpiece.
The wonderfully chunky paint texture and clever method for creating craters, both made with items you can find in your kitchen, make this an art project that kids of just about any age will love to do again and again. If you want to challenge your older junior astronomers, have them paint a moon masterpiece for each phase of the lunar cycle.
DIY constellation flashlight
Kids can snuggle in their beds and stargaze at the same time, thanks to these DIY constellation flashlights by Kersey Campbell. You’ll need a flashlight with a removable top, and with just some paint and paper, you can use it to beam your favorite constellations on the bedroom wall.
Younger kids will need some help getting the inside of the flashlight painted, as well as measuring and cutting the paper discs to get them to fit your flashlight just right, making this a fun project to tackle together.
Scissors, cardboard and yarn make these planets uniquely out of this world. Dyan at And Next Comes L recommends this project for crafting a colorful solar system while working on those fine motor skills. Use colors similar to the real planets; once completed, kids can play with the yarn-wrapped planets by placing them the proper order from the sun.
This is a fantastic craft for recycling old cardboard and bits of yarn left over from your knitting and crochet projects.
Forget boring white astronaut suits! Kimberly at Learn Create Love has an astronaut printable for kids to color or paint any way that their imaginations take them. Kimberly’s expertise at creating easy-to-use printables and her attention to detail are remarkable. The space suit printable includes several different areas to color, including a panel for the front, and provides a great opportunity for young kids to practice cutting with scissors.
If your kids enjoy this activity, don’t forget to check out the other space-themed printables on the site.
Take the night sky into the sunshine with constellations made of rocks and sidewalk chalk. Julie Kirkwood of Creekside Learning encourages taking a close look at constellations by placing rocks in the shape of some of your favorite night sky patterns.
Kids can learn more about their favorite stars and create their own constellations, and then create a book to easily recall the activity.
These gorgeous mini-books are a quiet activity that parents and elementary-age kids can do together on a rainy afternoon. Sarah of Quince and Quire created these accordion-fold books filled with pages of constellations. You and your kids can choose the stars that have special meaning for you, making this book that has a truly personal touch.
The simple, clean design makes this book worthy of display on your shelf, and you might find yourself gazing at these longer than you do the real night sky.
Stephanie at Two-Daloo has an activity that literally gets your kids’ hands reaching for the stars. She turned child-safe slime into a swirly galaxy for a sensory exploration activity that’s sure to make an impression on young kids.
The galaxy slime, unlike most recipes for “gak” and slime, uses Liquid Starch rather than Borax. The stretchy slime and soothing colors are irresistible fun that can lead to more in-depth discussions about the stars and galaxies in the night sky.
This simple activity from Our Crafts N Things fires up kids’ creativity as well as gets them working on their writing and penmanship skills. Once little artists piece together their names to build a one-of-a-kind rocket ship, they’ll have a blast firing up the rocket with glitter and stars.
Over at Design Mom you can find a creative way to hold the night sky in your hands with the DIY constellation jar. Turn a wide-mouthed jar into a mini-planetarium that features real star patterns for stargazing inside any time day or night. You’ll need just a few inexpensive items, including a disposable cake pan and small battery-powered light, to illuminate your own personal night sky.