Preschool Space Unit
The stars and moon and planets of our solar system have long fascinated people of all ages. I am honestly not sure where my kids caught the space bug, but I noticed that their play started involving rockets blasting off to space. That seemed to be the extent of what they knew, so given their interest I started to brainstorm some ideas for a Space Unit to extend their knowledge base. Over the course of the next few weeks, we delved into the planets, astronauts, the moon and more.
affiliate links are included below.
Here's an example of a Museum trip from Something 2 Offer.
*Backyard Moon or Star Watching
These tips on How to Spot Meteors from Frog Mom could help!
On The Launch Pad: A Counting Book About Rockets by Michael Dahl
A simple countdown from 12 stars twinkle in the morning sky and 11 workers take care of tasks to ONE shining rocket blasting off to the sky. Perfect introduction to the exciting event of a takeoff for a little one. 2+
Destination: Space by Seymour Simon
Seymour Simon has been one of the leading non-fiction authors for children for over a decade. This book is filled with telescope photographs of amazing sights out in space. 3+
Mousetronaut Goes to Mars by Astronaut Mark Kelly
This adorable book follows the adventures of a mouse astronaut, Meteor. He is determined to be apart of the first human misson to Mars. Children will be rooting along for this little mouse hero. 3+
The Magic School Bus: Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen
A classic Magic School Bus book. Venture into the space with the most adventurous classroom and most famous science teacher in children's books. 3+
Moonshot : The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
We are a huge fan of Brian Floca and this book is no exception. Stunning illustrations, fascinating information, and amazing retelling of the story of Apollo 11 for the next generation. 4+
Outer Space Bedtime Race by Rob Sanders
This is a completely goofy, imaginative bedtime story. Honestly it makes little sense, but it is good bedtime fun. 3+
Interstellar Cinderella by Deborah Underwood
If you like a do-it-yourself, modern woman, this Cinderella is for you. When we did a story study of Cinderella books this was one of our favorites so we brought it back out for the space unit. Interstellar Cinderella is a master at fixing rocket ships and this comes in handy in more ways than one. 3+
A Trip into Space by Lori Haskins Houran
Good first looks at the International Space Station for preschoolers where astronauts live, work, and walk. 3+
More Children's Astronaut Books
from The Jenny Evolution
Planets, Planets from Album I Know You'll Grow.. by Music with Nancy
We love Nancy Kopman's music and I credit her Planets, Planets song to my twins learning the names of all of the planets. My daughter sang this song non-stop for almost a month. You can find the CD on Amazon.
Ball Solar System
My dad did this activity with my kids (I come by this teacher thing naturally). He gathered a bunch of balls of different sizes - soccer balls, baseball, tennis ball, etc. They used the balls to create a solar system on the dining room table. Then they took turns orbiting the balls (planets) around the table.
International Space Station
science and creativity
My kids are fascinated by astronauts and the idea of the international space station. We read a couple books about the ISS but then I found a Tour of ISS on UTube. There are a few so look around. My twins loved learning about how the astronauts bounce around without gravity and about the different living spaces in the station. After they watched it, they drew their own version of the space station (photo above).
Next they pretended their tent was a Space Station and a big yellow beach ball was a meteorite. This pretend play was very dramatic and exciting. Later they pretended that our whole house was a space station and their shoes were gravity boots. Much imagination and pretending happened for days.
Gravity is a tricky concept for preschoolers to understand. It involves something they can't really seem making it abstract and difficult to explain. We worked on the concept a little by doing a simple gravity experiment. One person stood at the top of the stairs and dropped two objects at the same time. The other people stood at the bottom and watched to see which item feel the fastest. We talked about this and made some guesses about why some things fell faster than others.
Outerspace Little Passports Unit
math and literacy
Our Little Passports subscription for this month just happened to match our interest which was a huge bonus. If you're curious about Little Passports you can learn more here. We used their activities throughout our unit, usually during group time, and especially loved the outer space themed stamps. We used them to make pictures, create patterns, and tell stories.
Quiet Time Literacy Activity
I like to create at least one quiet time activity for each unit or interest. I put this on their shelf to practice making words and recognizing lowercase letters. The tray is from the Melissa and Doug magnetic letters. The right side has magnetic letters and the right side has cards with space themed words written down.
Into Space Quiet Time Activities
math and literacy
I made this set of printables for my kids to work on during Quiet Time. The pack includes a mini-book about a trip to the space station, patterning cards, and a drawing prompt. You can download it for FREE on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Outerspace Puppet Show
literacy and arts
My parents took my twins to see a puppet show at the Art Museum during the time we were learning about space and it inspired this idea. They worked on a space themed puppet show together based on the book Moonshot by Brian Floca (see list above). They created astronaut, rocket, and lunar module puppets, created a story, and rehearsed. Then they put the puppet show on for me and various stuffed pals. It was a great way to celebrate and conclude their project.
Galaxy Art Science
from Preschool Powol Packets
from iGame Mom
Solar System Unit Study
from Look We're Learning
Astronaut Ten Frame Matching Game
from The Kindergarten Connection
Moon Word Search Printable
from Tales of Education at Home
Astronomy for Kids
from Planet Smarty Pants
Space-Themed Salt Tray Activities
from The Usual Mayhem
Night Sky Dot to Dot Printable
from Craft Create Calm
Outerspace Coloring Pages
from Sight and Sound Reading
Outerspace Word Search
from The Letters of Literacy
See Each Activities
Rainbow Preschool Unit : READ POST
Skyscraper Preschool Unit : READ POST
Princess Preschool Unit : READ POST
Find all of our Units on THIS PAGE
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