The Solar System

We live in Kansas, but you may also know that we live in the solar system. The sun is a part of the solar system, and so is our moon, and even the earth we all live on! Did you know that there are 8 planets in our solar system? Here is a picture of them all together:

What if we could create a picture of the solar system too? With some paper, colors, scissors, and glue, we can!

Younger Learners

The fun thing is that for our youngest learners, they can make whatever solar system they want! It could be 8 planets, but knowing them it might be more enticing to make a billion planets they cut out, color, and paste, in any way they like. In fact, the more creative freedom they have, the better, as they'll be doing their own thing independently. This is purposeful in helping them develop their motor control skills, focus, and creativity.

They may also enjoy making a solar system with clay or playdoh, rolling and placing the planets wherever they like (and if that turns into making aliens and rocketships, that's okay).

Learners Who are Practicing Writing

The learners who are writing their letters already and can write words, they would likely benefit from a more realistic challenge of making our real solar system, with the sun and 8 planets, in order, trying their best to make the planets the right color and size based on the picture provided, and then writing their own labels for the planets.

Learners Who are Experienced Writers

Creativity doesn't have to stop with making the solar system, it would be a great opportunity for creative writing! Here is an idea you can share with your child:

  • If you had to move to a different planet, which one would you move to? What would you take with you? What would you do?

  • What if there was a secret planet that we didn't know about? What would it be called? What would it look like? Would there be any kind of people or animals?

You and your child can come up with their own writing prompts too, and they can make some cool drawings to go long with their story!

Learners Who Can Research

If you have books about space in your house, and your child is able to read them, you could encourage them to research more about the solar system. This could be reading just for pleasure, but if they'd like, they could even write facts about the planets in the form of a paper, or on smaller pieces of paper that they paste onto the picture of the universe.

One online resource you can use that's safe and informative is this NASA overview of our planets:

Questions for All Learners

  • Does the moon only appear at night, or can we see it in the day? If we can see it in the day, see if your child can find it from the backyard, or out on a walk.

  • If we look at the sky at night, can we see the stars? How many? If not, why do we think we can't see the starts where we are, but can see them when we are way out in nature or the countryside?

A Short Educational Video

Here is a helpful video you can watch with your child about the solar system. Warning: you may have a song being sung on repeat throughout the week, but at least it's educational!

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