The process of creating the moon and space board took us a couple of weeks – we made then only when boys asked for it and as long as they were eager to participate. In the end of the post I also share several games we made using them.
What you need:
- Black foam firm paper (or cardboard painted in black)
- Glitter glue
- Star shaped glitter (most of it fell off after a day of use, but kids enjoyed gluing it to a board)
- Hair spray (anything what will help to secure the glitter on the board)
- Egg carton boxes
- White glue
- Toilet paper
- Plate to make a shape of the moon
- Modeling clay
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic wrap
The process was extremely easy and engaging for all of us. Boys started with pouring some glitter glue on the board and using brushed covered the entire surface with it.
My 5 y.o remembered that we had glitter stars and asked to add them
on the board while the glue was still wet.
Boys picked only the golden stars and circles among different colors and placed them all on the perfect spots.
When the board was dry, all the glitter started too fall off it. I am not sure that we used the perfect solution, but hair spray looked like a best option for us – we didn’t have to use brushes, which could take off the remaining glitter. I bought extra firm hairspray and we used it outside the house (we usually avoid using such chemicals at all) and left to air dry for the night. There was no smell next day. Most of the big stars fell off while boys were playing anyway, but at least small glitter remains on its places.
The board is ready.
- The moon.
It was a little bit challenging for us to create our moon because we didn’t have a plate or a bowl of the size and shape we needed. If you have it, you can simply put plastic wrap on it and jump right into creating the planet or the moon.
We took the largest plate we had and covered it with the modeling clay adding aluminum foil at the bottom of it to form the shape we needed. When clay shape was finished we covered it with a plastic wrap to protect from the glue and water.
To create a paper mache mass we used three 18 egg cardboard boxes. We tore them into a small pieces and left in water for one day.
The next day we blend them. We could make the mass more even just blending it longer, but we wanted to create a texture with the pieces of the cardboard and didn’t blend them too much.
When the mass was ready we wrung it out, added some glue, and started to create.
Note: We think that we made our mass too dry, because the pieces were not perfectly attaching to each other, but we could form the shape and make the craters anyway.
My 5 y.o made two or three craters all by himself and was very pleased with the result. After we finished with this part, we left our moon to rest and dry for a couple of days.
To make the moon sturdier we decided to cover it with toilet paper. It is thick and after absorbing the glue gave a great grayish color to the moon. We finished our moon with the glue mixed with good amount of water (although we could use the flour and water mixture). We placed the piece of toilet paper on the moon and soaked it in our mixture using the brush. I think we made about 2 or 3 layer like this and left the moon to dry.
.When this side of the moon was dry we took it off from our modeling clay shape and a plate, which was still beneath the model.
The moon was firm already, but to make it look fancier and even sturdier we covered the inner side with two more layers of toilet paper. After a day or two of drying the moon was ready for playing with it.
The games we played:1. Moon exploration. As a surprise, when we finished the Moon and space, I gave the boys new space themed figures.
And gave them the space station we made last summer from the cardboard. Boys were mostly exploring, playing with the toys, and having fun.2. We were not playing with the shuttle this time. We took all the various stones and were exploring the moon and space. Talking about meteorites and about all the ways and stages of exploring new planets. We talked how to explore it from space, what to observe and how; how to explore the surface, and finally what to search under the surface. We also explored several stones we’ve found on the moon.
We don’t have microscopes and used camera on the cell phone to enlarge and explore the stones better.
3. We were discussing the Solar system a lot lately and decided to draw and color all the planets from the firm paper (you can glue a piece of white paper on the cardboard or to use a cardboard with one white side). Several times we put the planet in the right order following the book, then my 5 y.o was making it without a book. When he made mistakes, I only had to mention it, and he fixed them right away.
We were making many other space themed activities and read many space themed books. I will write a post about them soon!