Pretty sweet, no? That’s gravel from our driveway glued to a sheet of card stock paper. My son still wants to make the Kuiper belt as well, but poor Pluto is hung pretty close to the wall and gets lost in our alphabet strip.
We modified these instructions, using the recommended planet sizes, but skipping the suggested rings and dowel rods since we wanted to hang ours from the ceiling in the school room. The kids made rings for Jupiter, Saturn, and Uranus out of card stock. We had a hard time finding styrofoam balls not sold in bulk packaging (we didn’t need 6 Jupiters) but finally found them sold singly in all the sizes we needed at Ben Franklin.
I was kinda flying by the seat of my pants (as per my usual); they’re hung with embroidery thread. I used a giant doll needle to thread through the balls and then strung on a button on the bottom; I was afraid the string would pull through. They’re just thumb tacked to the wall using my super exact method of eyeballing it — thus, the planets aren’t quite perfectly aligned, but oh well. Oh, my oldest would like me to make sure you all notice Jupiter’s storm done in a big red button. My 7 year old wants to do all the moons using marshmallows, but I’m suspicious. I think he just wants to eat most of a bag of marshmallows.
The astronomy book we’re using this year has a handy little mnemonic phrase for memorizing the planets, but it wasn’t needed thanks to this stick-in-your-brain song from the Geography Songs CD we have. Have a listen:
[audio:http://balancingeverything.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/solarsystem.mp3|titles=Solar System Song]
Is this how everyone pronounces “Uranus?” I grew up saying “yer-anus” which was, of course, a never ending source of amusement for all the boys in my 4th grade class.
And now, have a watch:
She tolerates being the only girl pretty well, though she still hasn’t stopped asking for a baby sister. Also, two freshly lost teeth!
More Astronomy Fun:
Moon phases calendar – this was surprisingly hard to find… or maybe I was just having a bad Google day.