Space exploration is a common interest among kids eager to expand their world. Your preschooler can make and "discover" her very own moon and feel like a real astronaut, with this quick and easy craft. Help your child create her own crater-filled moon using a foam ball, some dried beans, glue and aluminum foil. Who knows, she might make it to the real moon someday!
What You Do:
- Let your child rip up some newspaper or regular paper (this is a perfect use for some scrap paper) into pieces of varying size.
- Using those developing fine motor skills, have her now crumple the paper and roll it into spheres of varying sizes, but make sure they're not too big (more like a peanut, and less like a walnut).
- This step is for adults only: holding the foam ball in one hand, push a pin through the paper into the ball. Continue doing this all over the ball. These will become the craters, so cover the ball evenly, all around.
- If you’re using a tennis ball, have your child glue some dried beans all over the ball. Be sure to clump some together so you get some real depth to the craters. Dried beans will also work on a foam ball, so feel free to use them as well as the paper.
- When it looks as if your child is happy with the amount of craters on her moon, go ahead and help her wrap the entire ball tightly in aluminum foil. The craters should really pop out. Be careful not to press too hard so as not to rip the foil.
- For a final added touch, (if you're using a foam ball) have your child make a flag to place on top, just as the real astronauts did on the moon.
- Let your child decorate a small piece of folded over white paper (about one inch high and two inches wide) however she would like. She can make the American flag or you can encourage her to come up with her own idea for a flag, perhaps something that represents her interests or reflects her personality.
- Place some glue in the crease of the paper and wrap it around the top of a toothpick. Let her place it in the moon.
- This moon has now been officially discovered!
Did You Know?
There are many moons in our Milky Way Galaxy other than our very own moon that orbits Earth. Saturn has 46 known moons, the largest of which is Titan. It's bigger than Mercury or Pluto! Share these fun space facts with your child when you're doing this project with her. She can even name the moon (or moons, if you make more than one!) when she has "discovered" it, just as the real astronomers do!
Lisa M. Cope is a freelance writer who focuses on parenting and child development issues, among many others. She is the mother of two boys, ages five and two.