When making solar system projects for kids, you can always order a solar system mobile kit and put together a fun mobile to hang in your child's room. But you can make the project even more fun if you're willing to go the extra mile-literally.
Map It Out To Scale
If you're into math, work with your kids to figure out how to design a solar system model that would actually be to scale. Look on a local map to discover how far away Pluto would have to be from the sun, and figure out where Earth would be on the map. Then take your kids for a drive, and stop for ice cream where Pluto would be-because it would be so cold there. Take photos where Earth would be, and get a hot meal when you reach the sun. For inspiration, check out these two to-scale solar system projects at phrenopolis.com and mathforum.org.
Explore The Extremes Of The Solar System
As you make a solar system model, help your kids understand the extremes of the temperature and living conditions on each planet. Have your kids look up the following information about each of the planets: average temperature, atmosphere and conditions. Talk about how incredibly hot it is on Mercury and Venus, how cold it is on Pluto and how windy it is on Jupiter. Discuss the challenges of trying to land a spaceship on each planet, and then follow the stories of spaceships that have journeyed to the planets and taken photos.
Simulate A Trip Through The Solar System
Prepare your kids for a space trip through the solar system. Have them gather facts about each planet, and then report on each planet as they "arrive" in their "space ship" at each planet. Talk about what equipment they would need to survive on each planet. "Pack" spacesuits, oxygen, weights, food and water. Talk about what real astronauts bring with them for space travel. For a simulated trip through the solar system based on photos from NASA, check out spacewander.com.
Check out these fun astronomy facts for kids when you're looking for a science project. Your kids can also build up their online research skills as they learn more about astronomy.
Have you ever wondered who invented astronomy? Famous astronomers have been studying the stars as long as human beings have been alive, so there have been many contributors to the field.