Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Year 2 Week 12 - Create Your Own Spacecraft and Astronauts

CC Cycle 2 Week 12         Create Your Own Spacecraft and Astronauts

Today for Wonderful Wednesdays we explored space further, expounding on astronauts and their space missions.  I had two books that had lots of good pictures of astronauts and spacecrafts.  I also read excerpts from an interview with a NASA scientist concerning astronauts to them.

After we lapbooked we spent some time coloring the spaceship my husband kindly put together last night.  My brother had given this to my kids last Christmas and I knew it would be perfect for Cycle 2 so I saved it!  I enjoyed watching the kids role play with the ship in their astronaut suits.  What a great learning experience there alone!

To start the kids out, we had to prepare for our mission like all good astronauts and train!  So into the gym they went and we had a small obstacle course set up.

They first had to test out their "sleeping pod"...
then they jumped to practice their moon walks...
next they crawled over the mats strengthening their muscles...
 then sit ups (with great drill sergeants!)...
Finally a walk through the anti-gravity simulator...  Then we were ready to build spaceships!

I took a trip to my local scrap exchange and picked up a bunch of recycled items to add to my growing collection of recycles already - making sure the kids had enough stuff to create their own version of a spacecraft of any type they could imagine.  I'd highly recommend checking in your area to see if you have something similar - they are great fun.
 I showed them all the different available recyclables and gave ideas for what they could create with them.  Then the kids were cut loose to create on their own -whatever they decided!
I had things like old spools, q-tips, tennis ball containers, tissue paper, tin foil, bottle caps, empty boxes and egg cartons, paper towel tubes, dowels, wooden stars, old laminate samples, tissue paper, curled ribbon, markers and styrofoam.  We heated up the hot glue guns and showed them the tape and off they went creating!

What the kids did was really creative.  We had rockets, astronauts tethered to their spacecrafts, rovers, space stations - it was all very well thought out and creative in how they used the materials to make their vision come to life.  They had details like landing gear, axles, launch pads, solar panels - great details well thought out.  I loved this project for the shear reason that I didn't "think" up anything for them - I just gave them the materials, showed them some great photos of various spacecrafts and then let them use their imagination and ingenuity to make whatever they wanted to create for a spacecraft!   Awesome!

We ended our time with a space snack (using a waffle top, banana and pineapple) and review game!
So fun and easy today - for me and the kids!  :)
Here is a good book for doing this project with younger kids:

51336: The Best Book of Spaceships The Best Book of Spaceships
By Ian Graham / Macmillan

Rockets, space shuttles, satellites . . . this colorful volume introduces your 4- to 9-year-olds to them all! Your aspiring astronauts will find out how a rocket works, discover all the things that satellites do, learn about daily life on a space station, imagine what it's like to walk with no gravity, and much more. 33 pages, hardcover from Kingfisher.


  1. I *love* your Wonderful Wednesday posts so much. What a wonderful, creative mama you are, and how blessed this group of kids are to be able to join together to enjoy these hands-on activities. We also meet each week w/ a small group to reinforce our learning (we also focus our activities around where we are at in either science or history). It has been an immeasurable blessing for both kids and moms alike.
    Thanks for sharing! ~Joanna

  2. Saving a Christmas gift for a school project? Haha, I love it! Seriously, what a great space shuttle! Thanks for sharing!