Inspire your budding astronomers!

solar system projects 1
We Are Teachers; Kids Activities Blog; Steamsational

You’d be hard-pressed to find a kid who isn’t drawn to space exploration. The solar system is filled with endless wonders and mysteries that help grow children’s interest in science. We have, however, come a long way since the days of hanging mobile solar system models (not that there’s anything wrong with that). From edible solar systems to large-scale chalk outlines, we found plenty of creative solar system projects to inspire budding astronomers.

A blue plate has various pieces of fruit and meats labeled as different planets and the sun (solar system projects)
Kids Activities Blog

1. Create an edible solar system

We love solar system projects that are equally effective as a lesson on healthy eating and science! Grab a variety of fruits, veggies, and meats, then have students get to work creating their solar system snack.

Get tutorial: Edible Solar System

planets are made from play dough. They are on a black piece of paper with white swirls drawn on to be the solar system.
Good To Know

2. Make play dough planets

First, make some DIY play dough or, if you’re in a pinch, buy some in a variety of colors. Then, show your students different photos and renderings of the planets so they can mold them. Finally, draw rings with white chalk on a sheet of black construction paper to represent the solar system.

Get tutorial: Play Dough Planets

A wooden paint stick has been painted black with different colored planets painted on it. Clothespins are shown beside it with the names of planets on them (solar system projects)
123 Homeschool 4 Me

3. Create a solar system on a paint stick

Solar system projects that are simple and require minimal preparation and supplies are some of our favorites! This one fits the bill since all you will need are paint sticks, painting supplies, clothespins, and some markers.

Get tutorial: Paint Stick Solar System

A snow globe made from an upside down jar has glitter and planets inside it (solar system planets)
Red Ted Art

4. Build a space snow globe

Surely every adult remembers making a homemade snow globe at some point in their childhood. Re-create these memories with your children or students while also learning about the planets and solar system.

Get tutorial: Space Snow Globes

Flashcards in purple and neon yellow are shown with constellations drawn on them. (solar system projects)
123 Homeschool 4 Me

5. Learn about constellations with free printable cards

First, download the free PDF of these constellation flash cards. Then, print them and cut them out. Then have your students test their knowledge of the various constellations found in the sky. If they have access to a telescope at home, they can use them to identify what they are looking at.

Get printable: Constellation Flashcards

A yellow button stands in as the sun. Different colored dots are shown coming from black lines that are meant to be the planets (solar system projects)
Fun Family Crafts

6. Simplify the solar system

This solar system project demonstrates how close each planet is to the sun. A yellow button makes for the perfect sun while paper dots work great as the planets.

Get tutorial: Solar System Button Model

Different size plastic caps and lids are painted and used to demonstrate the planets on a black background.
Still Playing School

7. Use plastic lids as planets

This project puts the concept of upcycling to good use. Have your students save all their various bottle caps and lids before you plan to do this project. Paint them as necessary and lay them out on some black paper to represent the various planets in the solar system.

Get tutorial: Plastic Lid Planets

planets are built out of Legos. A little girl is shown setting them up in a line. (solar system projects)
Kitchen Counter Chronicle

8. Build a solar system out of LEGO

Kids love LEGO and they love anything space-related, so this project is a win-win in our book. Ask friends and family to donate LEGO bricks that their kids have outgrown so you have plenty of blocks for your students to work with.

Get tutorial: LEGO Solar System

A child's hands are shown holding a necklace that has beads in the place of planets (solar system projects)
Rock It Mama

9. Wear a solar system

Have students paint different-size wooden beads to look like the various planets. Once the paint is dry, seal them with a clear coat. Then have students string them onto a chain or string.

Get tutorial: Solar System Necklace

A little boy and a little girl stand behind models of all of the planets (solar system projects)
Dailymotion

10. Use balloons and rice to build planets

Watch these adorable twins explain how to build models of the planets using rice and balloons. Once the models are complete, display them on plastic cups that are labeled with each planet’s name.

Get tutorial: Balloon Planets

A blue embroidery hoop has different round cotton pads on it that are painted to look like planets.
Art Bar Blog

11. Create a solar system using mixed-media art

You will need several days to complete this project, but the end result is just so cool! First, use a pipette and liquid watercolors to paint cotton rounds to resemble the planets. Then, use dark fabric to fill an embroidery hoop. Supply your students with acrylic paints so they can paint the fabric. Students should be encouraged to add sequins or glitter to the wet paint since they will make for a more realistic-looking night sky. Finally, have them glue their planets wherever they want.

Get tutorial: Mixed-Media Solar System

Rocks are painted to look like planets and the sun and are laid out on a black background (solar system projects)
Artistro

12. Paint rocks to resemble planets

Since rock painting is always fun, why not try painting rocks to resemble the planets and the sun? Once done, you can lay them out on a piece of black card stock. Be sure to use fine-tip permanent paint pens so you can really capture the details, and even leave them outside for friends to find.

Get tutorial: Rock Planets

A bingo card says solar system bingo across the top. It has pictures of various things from space on it.
Artsy Fartsy Mama

13. Play solar system bingo

Print the free bingo cards, then gather some glass gems or buttons to use to cover the spaces. This game would make for the perfect reward for good behavior since it is so fun!

Get printable: Solar System Bingo

A little boy sits on a large black, felt map that has planets laid out on it and labeled (solar system projects)
The Kavanaugh Report

14. Map out the solar system on the floor

Some solar system projects require considerable preparation but are totally worth it. We especially love that this one is interactive.

Get tutorial: Solar System Map

Bulletin board featuring student designed posters about the planet Pluto.
Amanda Christensen, Grade 5 Science Teacher, Limestone Middle School via We Are Teachers

15. To Pluto or not to Pluto

Begin by having students read two articles: one about why Pluto should be reinstated as a planet and one about why it should not. Then have them pick the best fact from each article and make their own personal decision on the issue. Once they make their decision, they’ll create a poster stating their opinion and the reason for it. Finally, have them create an astronaut of themselves to show how they voted.

A plate has yellow paint on it with a paintbrush. A solar system scene has been painted and planet stickers have been stuck to it (solar system projects)
The Crafting Chicks

16. Use stickers to create a space scene

Use a splatter technique to create the backdrop for your solar system scene. Purchase planet stickers like these in bulk so kids can easily build their solar systems.

Get tutorial: Solar System Sticker Craft

Screenshot of video on how to make planet garland.
Draw Calm via YouTube

17. Craft a solar system garland

While not a free printable, we think this affordable solar system coloring page is perfect for creating a garland you can display around your classroom or home. Have plenty of colored pencils and markers on hand so students can engage in some stress-reducing coloring!

Watch video: Planet Garland

Space Books
Amazon

18. Read books on the solar system

There really is no substitute for a good book when teaching students about a topic like the solar system. Stock up on some popular titles, then display them in your classroom library so students can read up on the planets and stars.

Learn more: Our Favorite Books About Space

Woman holding pom-pom planet crafts.
Kylee Makes It – Art Videos for Kids via YouTube

19. Make pipe cleaner planets

If you’re a pre-k or elementary school teacher, odds are you already have a drawer or box full of a variety of pipe cleaners. Put them to good use by having your students make these adorable pipe cleaner planets.

Watch video: Pipe Cleaner Planets

The top part of a child's head is shown wearing a homemade headband that has the sun and planets on it (solar system projects)
Primary Theme Park

20. Create and wear a solar system hat

It’s probably best to pre-cut the black strips before doing this project with your students. Once the strips have been cut, have your students splatter paint on them. While the bands are drying, have your students cut and color the planets using a free printable. Then glue the sun, planets, and labels onto the hat.

Get tutorial: Solar System Hat

The sun and planets have been drawn largely on blacktop.
Geek Dad

21. Map out the solar system outside

This project incorporates math as well science since you will need to measure the planets for an accurate comparison. All you need is chalk and some space for this easy project.

Get tutorial: Chalk Solar System

A printable game board has a fidget spinner pictured in the middle with the planets surrounding it in a dial formation.
englishwsheets.com

22. Play with a solar system spinner

Print this free game board, then place the fidget spinner in the middle. Have your students play and see how quickly they can recognize the various features of the solar system.

Get printable: Solar System Spinner

Styrofoam balls are painted to look like the sun and planets and are attached to a larger styrofoam base with skewers.
Scout Life

23. Make a Styrofoam planet model

You can’t have a list of solar system projects without the good old-fashioned Styrofoam ball model. Grab some Styrofoam, paint, and skewers and get to work!

Get tutorial: Styrofoam Planet Model

Printable solar system fact cards and bookmarks on a desk.
Second grade teacher, Ireland via We Are Teachers

24. Make solar system bookmarks and fact cards

Print out solar system fact cards to have kids quiz each other or as writing prompts for research projects. The bookmarks are a great way to reinforce what they learned while reading.

Planets made from yarn are shown haning from a ceiling (solar system projects)
Art for Little Hands

25. Fashion planets from yarn and papier-mâché

This project is going to take a lot of time and you will need a few days to complete it, but these yarn planets will be totally worth it. You can even get some command strips and string and hang them from your classroom’s ceiling once done.

Get tutorial: Papier-Mâché Planets

A construction paper sun sits at the top of the page. Different colored strips of paper are labeled with the various planets in descending order to show how close and far planets are from the sun.
Boy Scouts via Pinterest

26. Line up the planets

This simple project demonstrates to students how far each individual planet is from the sun. All you will need is construction paper, glue, and markers.

Learn more: Planet Lineup

A child's hands are shown coloring a coffee filter with marker. Several planets that have been made from coffee filters are also shown.
Fun-a-Day

27. Make planets from coffee filters

Place paper plates under a coffee filter to contain any mess, then have students color the filters with markers. Once colored, spray water over them to get the final watercolor-like effect. Finally, cut them to size and display them around your room.

Get tutorial: Coffee Filter Planets

An image of the earth is shown.
NASA

28. Explore NASA’s website

NASA has an excellent website that includes so, so many resources to explore all about space and the solar system.

Learn more: NASA Solar System Exploration

Illustration of students stargazing.
American Museum of Natural History

29. Do some stargazing

This is a project that can either be done at home or during an evening outing. The Museum of Natural History’s website has an entire section full of tips for kids on stargazing.

Learn more: Astronomy Guide

hands are shown assembling different constellations from toothpicks and marshmallows.
STEAMsational

30. Make marshmallow constellations

Get some books and other resources on constellations, then challenge your students to create constellations with marshmallows and toothpicks. (Be sure to have plenty of extra marshmallows since you know little stargazers love to snack!)

Get tutorial: Marshmallow Constellations

Black slime has clay planets in it.
Mini Monets and Mommies

31. Make some solar system slime

Kids love slime, but be prepared for a day filled with mess! Solar system slime and clay planets are a fun (and messy) way to explore space.

Get tutorial: Solar System Slime

A little girl is holding a wooden box that has 9 peg dolls designed to look like the sun and planets.
@lottilollipop via Instagram

32. Turn planets into peg dolls

This is one of the more unique solar system projects we’ve seen. Grab yourself some peg dolls at your local craft store or Amazon in varying sizes and shapes. Then give kids some paint and let them design them to look like the sun and planets.

Learn more: Lovely Lottys Homework

A small white circle has black swirls and circles drawn on it to look like the solar system. A penny is in the middle vertically.
@stephmarieartclass via Instagram

33. Spin the planets on a penny

This is another planet spinner, but this time using a penny instead of a fidget spinner. Show the kids a diagram of the solar system, have them draw it on a white coaster-sized circle, and then cut a slit in the middle. Make sure the adult cuts the hole. Then place a penny in the middle to stand in as the sun. Once they’re made, kids will have a blast seeing how fast they can spin their solar system.

Learn more: Solar System Penny Spinners

A black background has stars and a large moon made from a paper plate.
Crafts on Sea

34. Print a moon with pom-poms

This is the perfect solar system project for toddlers or preschoolers. Simply turn a paper plate upside down, put some gray paint on a palette, and then let kids dab pom-poms in the paint and apply them to the plate. You can talk to the kids about the surface of the moon and craters while they craft.

Get tutorial: Pom-Pom Printed Moon Craft

35. Take a tour of the ISS

Ever wonder what it’s like to spend time in the International Space Station? Wonder no more because you can take a tour with this informative video!

36. Create a solar system bracelet

While we already had a solar system necklace on our list, this bracelet was too pretty not to include. Plus we think it would make a great gift idea too!

A little boy stands in front of a white board that has magnetic planets on it in this example of solar system projects.
Amazon

37. Use magnets to make a solar system

Solar system magnets plus a white board are a great way to let kids explore the planets, sun, and other aspects of the solar system. It’s also an easy, store-bought solution if you are short on time.

Buy it: Magdum Solar System Magnets

The picture on the left shows two open plastic easter eggs with marbles inside. The picture on the right shows them closed and beside a tape measure.
Science Friday

38. Run a gravity experiment

This is a really cool experiment that will teach kids about gravity and centripetal force in a hands-on way. The experiment involves dropping plastic eggs filled with marbles from varying heights and then recording the speed with which they fall to the ground.

Get tutorial: Gravity And Centripetal Force in Our Solar System

A soft dartboard is shown with the solar system on it. Small velcro balls of different colors are also shown.
Amazon

39. Test your aim

Kids learn best when having fun, so why not add this solar system dartboard to your indoor recess repertoire?

Buy it: BooTaa Large Dart Board for Kids

40. Take a field trip to a football field

Show your students this video so they really understand the size and scope of the solar system. If you’re feeling adventurous, you could take them out to the football field to have them reenact the video to really drive the point home.

A roll of toilet paper is shown. Some of it is unraveled in a line on a grass field with paper planets.
Teach Beside Me

41. Roll out some toilet paper

Use a roll of toilet paper and some printable planets to demonstrate the scale of the solar system and how far apart the planets are from one another and the sun. This is a great activity to do outside on a nice day.

Learn more: Space Unit for Kids

Can’t get enough space? Check out these Out of This World Space-Themed Classroom Ideas.

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