It’s back to school time, and that means science projects! This DIY solar system mobile craft is the perfect hands-on activity for kids to learn about the planets that orbit our sun. Each one is unique and has its own story. Check out these other outer space crafts HERE.
And to make it possible for you to craft even more memories with your family, this craft, like every single project on this site, begins with the same master list of supplies. Fill your bag using the printable master list, just 29 items, all basic , low cost and easy to obtain. Once you have prepped once, you are ready to craft over and over again with less stress, less mess and less prep! So, no more excuses…get to crafting with your family!
SUPPLIES FROM THE BAG
- 2 Paper plates (coated 9-inch)
- Black paint
- White paint
- Yellow paint
- Paints in various colors for decorating planets
- 2 Medium pompoms (any color)
- White yarn
- Construction paper (various colors for planets)
- Hole punch
Age recommendation: Preschool on up (with a little help for early scissor users)
Time Frame: 30 minutes
Here are a few more great ways to learn about Science with some hands-on activities! Click on the pic for more info…
Also, this book comes highly recommended…
Step 1: Paint
Step 2: Make the Sun
- Pick the largest circle item (around 5 inches across) and trace around it onto two layers of yellow paper. Now draw on the rays of the sun and cut it out.
- This will leave you with 2 identical suns that will be act like the bread in a sandwich with the yarn hanger for your mobile held in side (coming up in Step 4)
- Use a q-tip to add some gold and orange paint to the center of each sun, only on the areas that will be on the outside of the sandwich.
- Set them aside for the paint to dry.
Step 3: Make the Planets
- Gather up round items of various sizes from around your house. You will trace around these to make all of the planets and sun.
- Next, you will need an assortment of colored construction paper to make your 9 planets. (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto)
- Trace out your planets and cut them out.
- Use the extra pompoms and q-tips to dry brush various colors. Below is a rendering of the planets if you want a model to follow. But you can also just use your imagination and make the planets how you see them in your mind’s eye. Go light on the paint.
- *I also cut out an oval donut shape for the ring on Saturn. To keep it in place, I just cut a couple of small slits in the side of the planet for the ring to nest in.
- Once one side is dry, go back and paint the other side.
Step 4: Prep the Mobile
- Take the now painted and dry galaxy plate and cut a spiral as pictured below (about 2″ wide as you go around and a stub left in the middle). This is the base of your solar system mobile.
- Punch a hole in the very center of the spiral, which will be for the hanger.
- And then punch 9 more holes, spaced out as the spiral goes downward, with the last hole for Pluto being at the very end of the spiral.
- *You will likely need to help little ones with this step since cutting a spiral can be a little tricky for early scissor users.
Step 5: Here Comes the Sun
- Punch a hole in the top and bottom of one of the suns.
- Cut a length of white yarn approximately 1 yard long and fold it in half.
- Then, weave it into the holes you put in the sun so that the string is on the back side, leaving a nice long tail from which to hang the rest of the mobile. There will be a loop above the sun for hanging it up.
- Now use your glue stick to place the other sun onto the sandwich, with the string in the middle.
- Finally, weave the ends of the string into very middle hole on the plate and knot it 3 times. Trim away the excess, though not too close to the knot.
Step 6: Put the Planets in Orbit
- For each planet, punch a hole in the top.
- Cut a piece of white yarn approximately 8 inches long for each of your 9 planets.
- Line your planets up in order and start by lacing a piece of yarn through the hole you made in Pluto. Then lace the 2 ends of the yarn through the hole that you made in the galaxy mobile base and make a double knot. It should hang down below the plate 1-2 inches.
- Repeat this process, working from the outside in until all of the planets have been placed on the mobile.
- Trim away the excess yarn on the ends of each knot.