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Blast Off! An Outer Space Theme for Preschoolers

written by: Tracey Bleakley • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 6/6/2012

Add some math, language arts and science to your curriculum with a space theme! Preschoolers will learn about the sun and moon, planets, astronauts, and more with these fun outer space activities.

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    Young children are constantly learning new things about the world around them. Use a preschool space unit to introduce them to the things that are beyond Earth.

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    Songs and Poems

    Use these songs and poems to get your students up and moving. Add them to your circle time or any time that your preschoolers need to get some wiggles out. They are the perfect addition to a preschool space unit.

    Ring Around the Rocket Ship

    Tune: Ring Around the Rosie

    Ring around the rocket ship

    Try to grab a star

    Stardust, stardust

    Fall where you are!

    Bend and Stretch

    Bend and stretch, reach for the stars

    There goes Jupiter, there goes Mars

    Bend and stretch, reach for the sky

    Stand on tippy-toe, oh so high!

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    Dramatic Play and Block Area Activities

    If You Decide To Go To The Moon For fun in the dramatic play area, build a rocket out of large cardboard boxes for the children to play with. Read the class a book like If You Decide To Go To The Moon by Faith McNulty to inspire them on their pretend journey into outer space.

    Encourage the children to build their own spaceships and rockets in the block area. Hang pictures of rockets and space shuttles around the area to give them ideas. Take pictures of their creations and display them on a bulletin board.

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    Math Activities

    Make a star counting book. Give each child a small blank book with five or ten pages. Write a number from 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 on each page. Give each child a sheet of metallic star stickers and have him stick the appropriate number of stars on each page of the book.

    Write the numbers from ten down to one on large cards. Hold them up one at a time as you practice counting backwards. Let the children pretend they are rockets headed into space, crouching down until you get to one and then saying "Blast off!" and jumping up high.

    Give the children small, medium, and large stars and have them sort the stars by size. They can then glue them onto a large piece of black paper that is divided into three sections.

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    Literacy Activities

    Read and discuss lots of fun books about space.

    Place small pictures of different space themed items in your literacy center along with letter tiles or magnetic letters. Have the children match the picture with the letter that it starts with. Ideas for pictures include moon, star, sun, planet, rocket, comet, and astronaut.

    Choose a space themed word like moon or sun, and brainstorm a list of words that start the same way.

    Strengthen phonological awareness with a rhyming game. Sit in a circle with a group of students. Say a word like star and toss a small, soft ball to one child. (You can even pretend it is the moon if you want.) The child who gets ball then says a word that rhymes with star like car or far and tosses the ball back to you. Toss the ball to another child, who has to say another word that rhymes with star and toss the ball back to you. Nonsense words are allowed. Keep playing until no one can think of one and then start again with a new word like sun or moon. This is a great activity for a small group.

    These fun space activities are sure to make your outer space theme for preschool students a success. You might even inspire a few future astronauts.

References

  • Burnaby Public Library; Program ideas: Outer space: http://www.bpl.bc.ca/kids/embracing-diversity/program-ideas/outer-space
  • PreKinders; Space Theme: http://prekinders.com/space-theme/#activities