12 Space-themed crafts & activities for preschool or daycare classrooms (2024)

Teaching lessons on space at preschool? We’ve got craft and activity ideas to make space extra cool and applicable.

Here are ideas used at our daycares and preschools:

1) Make a paper planet wreath to teach our solar system at preschool

This one is easy, yet so effective. Show the preschoolers the order of planets in our solar system, by making a space wreath. Cut out the inside of a circular plate, paint it black, then glue on the construction-paper cut outs of planets. Kids should try to get it in the right order, too, based on distance from the sun.

Here are examples (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

2) Paint the moon and stars with aluminum foil stamps and foam stars

How do you get the moon texture when painting with preschoolers? Use aluminum foil balls! They can scrunch up a piece of tin foil however they want, dip it into grey paint, and then stamp, stamp, stamp on a circular piece of paper. Soon enough, they’ll have a moon!

Next, glue that moon cut out onto a lack piece of construction paper. Get out the glue, and paste on some colourful foam stars from the craft store.

Voila, you have a moon and stars.

Here are examples (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

  • 12 Space-themed crafts & activities for preschool or daycare classrooms (7)

3) Create a NASA space station out of tin foil & add space suit costumes for extra fun

Using cardboard, old keyboards, easels and tables covered in tin foil, you can create an imaginative space (get it, space?). Call it the International Space Station, a rocket ship or something from Star Wars – whatever it is, the kiddos can use game controllers and wear space suit costumes to really feel like they are in space. They can help with the tin foil wrapping and making the station out of cardboard, or teachers can do this overnight for their delight in the morning. At our centre, we covered up a little nook with existing furniture, to give the space station a bit more structure. Talk about the Third Teacher! Also, who wouldn’t want to play in that? Do they make adult space suit costumes? Ha!

Here are photos of our DIY space station at preschool (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

  • 12 Space-themed crafts & activities for preschool or daycare classrooms (12)

4) Paint with balls and trays as mini shooting stars, comets and meteors

You can turn this regular ol’ painting trick into a space-themed craft at preschool. It’s quite simple – you need a few rubber balls dipped in some paint, a tray and a piece of plain paper. The kids can pick up the tray and tip it on angles, to get the paint balls to roll around their ‘canvas’ (the piece of paper). The balls will leave trail marks of paint as they slide around the tray, which kind of looks like a shooting star, comet or meteor flying through space.

Here are examples (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

5) Combine an art history lesson with space-themed learning at preschool, using Van Gogh’s Starry Night

At our daycares and preschools, we introduce children to famous painters as art lessons. Whether or not you do this, you can still use Van Gogh’s famous, Starry Night painting as inspiration for kids to paint their own masterpiece. Of course, this relates to space, so if you’re doing a unit on the moon, stars and galaxy, then this is a perfect match; you get a preschool art lesson and a science lesson all in one.

Here are photos of our kids trying to mimic Van Gogh’s famous painting by adding their own stars to their ‘night.’ (click to enlarge and start a slideshow)

6) Have a paint splatter party outside, to create colourful galaxy art

This can be a bit of a reach, but you know, it could work for a space-themed lesson. When you splatter paint (which is super fun and adorably messy by the way), you can see how it kind of resembles a galaxy. Maybe a little bit. If not, you can pass it off as a Jason Pollock art lesson, how about that?

Here are our kids having a paint splatter session (no shoes, and washable paint, folks!):

(click to enlarge and start a slideshow)

7) Is it raining outside? Make cool chalk art with puddles, that look like galaxies, for a spontaneous space lesson at preschool

When you’ve got as much rain as we get in the Pacific Northwest, you gotta take it as an opportunity for a teachable moment. With the right rain gear, kids can have a blast outdoors, even if it’s raining. And here is a fun activity if you’re also teaching preschoolers about space: melting sidewalk chalk in puddles. It forms really cool shapes and colour mixes, kind of like galaxy photos.

Here is what that looks like (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

8) Make an adjustable rocket ship with metal cans and magnetic shape tiles

You know those plastic shape cut out toys that have magnets inside them? You can use those all year round for creative building, geometry lessons and sensory activities. But, during your space lesson unit at preschool, you can also use them to build a rocket ship, any way you want! The trick is to start with a metal can as the body of the rocket. Then, see if the kids can mimic what a rocket ship looks like, with it’s pointed top and wing flaps. Or, they can just engineer their own sci-fi rocket ship, why not?

Here is what we mean (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

9) Colour me in a spacesuit – a simple preschool age craft when learning about space

All you need for this one is a printable space suit, with enough of a ‘head’ to attach face photos of the kids afterwards, along with a plastic lid of some sort, to make the ‘helmet’. The preschoolers can colour the space space suits with crayon ‘rocket fire’ (a bunch of crayons tied together for a multi-coloured effect while drawing). Then, the flying preschool astronauts can go up on your space wall, along with your planets, sun, moon and stars in the solar system. It’s a great way to say to the class, ‘we’re going to space this week!’ And then, they can see themselves floating around in anti-gravity.

Here are ours (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

10) Make a sensory sandbox with a space theme

When you’re teaching space at preschool and need a space-themed activity to go with it, the sensory stations are no exception. Using black sand, beads, and some spherical objects as planets and moons, your classroom kids can get a ‘touch and feel’ galaxy to mess around with. They can place the planets, form constellations with their finger, and feel the smoothness of sand and beads next to textured tinfoil balls. Very zen, actually. They should make an adult version of this for our offices.

Here is our version of a space-themed sensory box (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

11) Squish-paint your own planet as a preschool space craft idea

You know what’s great about teaching space? Technically, accuracy isn’t as important as having fun and being creative. As scientists discover new planets and pseudo planets and their moons, then digitally recreate their telescopic images, it seems like space just gets more beautiful and colourful. So, as early childhood educators, we can get our preschoolers to imagine their own planets and colours and who knows – space agencies may find them one day! Just joking.

Anyway, to make cool planet art, kids get to squish paint through plastic wrap (we can save our parents a bit of laundry on this one). Depending on the colours used and the formation of paint squeezed on the paper, you can get pretty neat patterns out of doing. And, talk about a sensory activity! Who doesn’t love squishing gooey things?

Here are examples of our daycare planet art, via the sophisticated art form of squishing paint through plastic (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

12) Match moon fractions to a chart to teach the moon cycle at preschool

How do you help preschool kids grasp the concept of lunar cycles? Use a matching game! This makes a good lesson on fractions too. Show the kids, through cards and a chart, how the moon circles around the earth, and slowly reveals more of itself and less of itself as it does. That’s how we get full moons and half moons, and crescent moons. Now, can they tell you what order these go in? They can practice with their moon chart!

Here are our daycare children learning about the moon cycle through this type of chart and matching game (click to enlarge and start a slideshow):

See related on our blog:

  • So many easy preschool winter craft ideas to try at daycare or at home
  • Reasons and ideas to teach preschoolers about recycling
  • 10 Activities and crafts to teach preschoolers about the ocean
  • A comprehensive guide to art supplies for your preschool process art table
  • 17 Preschool interdisciplinary apple lessons and activities
  • 4 Easy science experiments for toddlers and preschoolers, and more
12 Space-themed crafts & activities for preschool or daycare classrooms (2024)

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