As a teacher, it is always fun but can be difficult when introducing new topics to my students in the classroom. One of my favorite topics is the solar system. When I reach this topic in my students’ curriculum each year, I make sure that I include projects that will engage my students as well as keep them interested.
In the beginning of my teaching career, it was very hard transitioning between topics with my students. Therefore, I wanted to help my readers by providing several solar system project ideas that they can use in their own classrooms. I have researched and used hundreds of these projects throughout my career, so I can assure you that you will find at least a few great ones from my list.
After reading this article, you will officially know:
- Several solar system project ideas →
- How to introduce the solar system to students →
- And a few interesting facts about the solar system to tell students →
You can watch this video. It contains a brief retelling of the article.
While searching for solar system projects for students, you will quickly learn that there are so many out there. I have compiled a list of my favorite ones that encourage my students to interact and enjoy learning about different parts of the solar system.
Before I tell you about the project ideas, I suggest watching Chocolate I-scream’s YouTube video. This video will tell you how to create a solar system project model for children. It is a fun project you can begin with before getting into other projects on my list.
Below, I will provide you with my list of 15 different solar system projects that I believe every teacher should do with their students at least once. Here is the list of them:
- Hanging Mobile →
- Solar System Cake→
- Playdough Solar System Model →
- Snow Globe Solar System →
- Felt Model →
- Pom-Pom Solar System →
- Chalk Solar System →
- Fruity Planets →
- Solar System Poster →
- Shadow Box→
- Glow in the Dark Solar System →
- Edible Solar System →
- Solar System Bottle Caps →
- Popsicle Sticks Solar System →
- Balloon Solar System →
This is one of the easiest and well-known solar system projects. You only need a few flash cards and string. Start cutting out the planets, color or paint them, and punch a hole in each. Afterwards, you can hang them in the correct position and look at all the planets you created.
This project may require some careful thought and planning. The objective is to bake a cake that looks like the solar system. You can cook a chocolate cake to represent the dark space. Then, add M&Ms, skittles, and other treats to represent the planets. Make sure that you place the sun in the middle and then create the orbit ring. After you have explained the details of the cake to your students, everyone can enjoy a tasty slice.
All children love to play with playdough, so why not form a solar system out of playdough? You can form the sun and all the planets while explaining each one to your students. Try to use a variety of colors that match each planet. If you want to get even more creative, use black construction paper to represent space.
When the holidays are approaching, making a snow globe solar system is an excellent idea. The items you will need to do this are a mason jar, water, fishing wire, glue, glitter, paint, and clay. Begin making the planets out of the clay, but make sure you are making them small enough to fit inside the jar. Let the clay harden before painting each the color of the planets. Use the fishing wire to thread through the holes of the planets. Glue the other end of the wire to the bottom of the inside of the jar, so that your planets are hanging inside. Pour some water in the jar and add glitter. Then flip your jar upside down and shake it to watch the magic happen.
A felt solar system is perfect for young children because they learn by touching things. It is also a great visual learning technique. Use different color felts and explain each planet as you allow the students to touch them. I also recommend using a black piece of felt to represent the space.
Buy a pack of pom-poms that are different colors. Use black cardboard or construction paper for the space. If you have white chalk, you can draw the orbits of the planets on the black paper.
Every child enjoys playing with chalk. Therefore, you can bring out the colorful chalk and take your class outside. Use the concrete to draw the solar system. After you have explained each planet, let the students draw their own solar systems while referring back to yours.
Find different fruits that can represent the different planets in the solar system. Think about the shapes and colors that you will need. Then, have your students gather around and watch while using their imaginations. A green apple makes a great Earth, an orange can represent Jupiter, and a honeydew melon can be your sun. You will need to get creative, but it will be fun and consist of lots of laughs.
Use a large sheet of paper that can make a poster. Make sure it is black to represent the outer space. Add paint to create the different planets and label them for the students to see. Then, hand out black posters to each student to make their own solar system posters.
Use a small box to create your solar system inside. A shoebox is the perfect size. Paint the inside of the box black. Then, you can use Styrofoam balls for the planets and paint them the correct color. To get creative, add glow in the dark stars.
Glow in the dark makes things more exciting! Therefore, my suggestion is to go buy some glow in the dark paint and create a solar system. Draw the planets on a sheet of paper and paint them with the glow in the dark paint. After everything has dried, turn off the lights and watch everyone’s paintings come to life.
Start by baking cookies in the oven. After they have cooled off, use icing to add color to the cookies. Be sure to use the appropriate icing color to represent the planet colors. You can also create different cookie sizes to form your edible solar system. Afterwards, everyone can eat cookies!
Save some of your bottle caps throughout the week. You may find bottle caps on various jars and drink bottles. Paint these bottle caps to represent the different planets and sun. Place the bottle caps on a black sheet of paper and describe the solar system to your students.
This project requires glue, scissors, paper, and popsicle sticks. Use various colors of paper to make the planets. After you have cut the planets out, glue them to their own individual popsicle stick. Then, make all the popsicle sticks attach to the sun in the middle. It is a neat project that students will be happy to participate in.
All children have a fantastic time when balloons are involved. Use balloons of different colors and hang them up in your classroom. Explain that each balloon is a different planet. Be sure to line them up in order to represent the solar system.
For a video showing you five other projects that you can use to teach the solar system to your students, check out A Toy Day’s YouTube video. It is a compilation of several projects that will keep children entertained for long periods of time.
I also recommend investing in an interactive whiteboard. These devices are perfect for different types of learners, and they bring so much fun to your classroom. You can play games while also teaching your students various topics.
You may find yourself wondering how to introduce the complex solar system to your students. Do not worry; I will help make this a much simpler process for you. First, I want to assure you that your students will enjoy learning about the various planets. Since the solar system consists of so many bright colored planets that are different shapes, each one is bound to grab their attention. There are several planets that you will be required to introduce, so you may want to take it slow and go over only a couple a day to start with.
After you have gone over each planet, be sure to come up with ways to help students remember each one. You can develop worksheets that have the name of the planet and its color to help. Once you feel that your students comprehend all the planets, I believe you should do several fun projects to help them grasp them even more. Children do not do well with lectures for long periods of time, so integrating hands-on projects will lighten up their mood and create fun in your classroom.
Be sure to ask the students questions about the planets to ensure that they are understanding each one. For example, you may ask, “what color is Jupiter?” or hold up a sheet of paper with the Earth on it and ask, “what planet is this?”
To see a simple and fun solar system project for kids, check out Zodiac Bitavarra’s YouTube video. You will only need a few items that you can pick up from a craft shop, and it will bring you and your students hours of fun. This project is an excellent way to introduce the solar system to your students.
An awesome gadget that I believe every teacher should have in their classroom is a document camera. This camera can work virtually and in-person. All you need to do is place an object underneath the camera, and your students will be able to see it on the screen.
Interesting facts are attention grabbers that will help engage your students.
I will tell you a few amazing facts about the solar system that you should tell your students.
- You cannot stand on Uranus.
- The rings on Saturn are mostly made of water.
- Mercury takes three months just to orbit the Sun.
- One day is longer than an entire year on Venus.
- It would take 100 times longer to make it around the Sun than it does the Earth.
- The solar system is over 4 billion years old.
If you would like to watch a video that goes over other science project ideas for children, take a look at The Best Project Maker’s YouTube video. This video is great at explaining several different projects that will keep your students engaged as well as teach them everything there is to know about science.
For older students who need to go back and look at your lessons on the solar system, my advice is to purchase a camera for recording lectures. With this tool, you can record your lecture and lesson plans, and your students who missed your class or simply need to go back and take notes for their exams can do so. I have written another article on these devices.
- Science Lesson Plans for the Classroom
- How to Make Science Fun and Exciting in the Classroom
- How Can I Get My Child Interested In STEM?
I hope this article helped you find a few solar system project ideas that you would like to try out in your classroom. The goal is to encourage teachers around the globe to adopt these projects into their classroom as they are great learning tools that will keep your students entertained for hours at a time. Good luck and happy teaching!
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