This week – we’re all about Rocket Ships and SPACE!
We’ve got a simple tutorial for a cardboard rocket ship which you can easily make in under 15 minutes for spacey imaginative fun, space book recommendations for young children, and 15 out of this world ideas for space-themed play!
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I don’t know what kicked it off, but my 3 1/2 year old son, Onetime is definitely really interested in space right now.
She seemed really surprised, but I wasn’t at all. It has figured prominently in our nighttime stories by request for close to a couple of months now, along with the Kennedy Space Center.
The only thing I can think of is that I read him a few awesome space books (see below), he latched onto a couple of ideas, and the interest began to grow.
Space Books for Young Children
Touchdown Mars! is a really fun alphabetic futuristic journey to Mars that can be read as an engaging story to kids as young as 2, but provides tons of real facts and information about the “red planet” for enthusiasts of all ages.
Onetime really likes all of the books in this fun machines series by Tony Mitten. Roaring Rockets does not disappoint. It has rhyming text, colourful pictures and we love the animal characters!
Trip to the Moon: Busy World Richard Scarry takes the intrepid Huckle and his comical worm friend Lowly to the moon on a rocket ship made of household parts! They use their engineering minds to fix the ship when it breaks and luckily have a successful splashdown back near Busytown!
Curious George and the Rocket is a short and sweet story that really appeals to Onetime.
George gets recruited to be the first space monkey and he suits up for his adventure. I love all the Curious George books and even though it’s not one of the most detailed of H.A. Rey’s stories, you have to still love this surprising little adventure and the fold-out Blast-Off pages!
Coolest Space App
We even found this amazing free App called SkyView Free which lets you see the location of different stars, the moon, satellites, planets and the International Space Station when you point your device at the sky!
After all the reading (and stargazing!), Onetime’s interest exploded and I started looking for even more space learning activities to do with him.
That’s when I found all these fantastic space-related activities from our Love to Learn Linky. So – I decided to round them up and share them with you – just in case you had a budding astronaut lover as well!
DIY Cardboard Rocket Ship
One of Onetime’s favourite things to do is to go to Home Depot and pick up a large cardboard packing box (or two).
Each month, we change a new box into something different (always Onetime’s ideas). We’ve had elevators, airplanes, firetrucks, trains, and this month – it was a rocket ship.
Every construction we make is super simple and achieved with scissors and duct tape. Sometimes we decorate them (like we did for this firetruck) and sometimes we don’t. It never seems to matter. These creations are always the favourite toys for the month.
To make our rocket ship, we kept the box fully opened. At one end, I reinforced all 4 corners on the inside using duct tape so the box would stand vertically as tall as possible.
Duck Silver Duct Tape looks especially fantastic on the rocket ship!
Next, we created the top by trimming two of the flaps into triangular shapes and reinforced the pyramid shape with duct tape (my best friend!).
To make the wings, I cut out large triangles from a second box and taped them to the sides of our ship.
Onetime and his Dad had a blast drawing control panels, buttons, and computer screens inside together with markers. And it’s been rocket ship play ever since!
In fact, on a recent play date with a 4 and 6 year old, we had all 3 boys crammed in there blasting off and exploring alien worlds for close to 45 minutes!
Spacey Science, Technology, and Math
Film Canister Rocket: Science Kiddo
How to Make Your Own Robot: Brain Power Boy
Constellation Gummies and Glow in the Dark Moon Rocket: Left Brain Craft Brain
Moon Math Game and Gravity Lab: Stir the Wonder
Cardboard Tube Space Shuttles, Soda Bottle Space Rockets: A Little Pinch of Perfect
Other Out of this World Activities
Under the Stars Gross Motor Activity: Growing Book by Book
Fizzy Alien Planet Sensory Play and Smashing ABC Moon Rocks: Stir the Wonder
Kid Made Night Sky Art: My Nearest and Dearest
Universe Playdough: A Little Pinch of Perfect
Hope you found a fun space idea to inspire your kids today!