Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Teaching Tuesday: Space Week

I really, really love teaching college students...but I have had WAY too much fun playing school with my kiddos this summer. I can't say they have always shown as much enthusiasm as I have, but it makes me feel so good to know that our time together this summer has been fun and at least a little educational. 

This has also been a huge learning experience for Blake. He has never been in a structured learning environment before and unlike his sister, he isn't begging to do worksheets and crafts every day. So seeing him really get into his "work" and get excited about painting/gluing/coloring is so reassuring to me. Before vacation, the kids had "Space Week" and this may have been Blake's favorite lesson so far.


I have always had a passion for astronomy {and even planned on majoring in it in college. HA!} so when I was planning our summer schedule, I knew we had to have Space Week so that we could break out the mini telescope, look at some star charts and of course...make some spaceships :) 

In fact, when the kids saw what I had laid out for arts & crafts time, they asked if they could do them first and do the worksheets after. And who am I to argue with kids who want to get crafty.


The painted spaceships we made were SUPER easy and require only a few supplies. I first downloaded this spaceship color sheet and cut one out for each of them. I also grabbed popsicle sticks to attach to the back so they could "fly" them around when they were done.

I set out paint and brushes and let them work their magic.




The girls had this great idea to draw their face in the window of the spaceship but that wasn't working out the way they wanted it to so instead, I printed little pictures of each of them and they glued their photo to the window. I think these turned out SO CUTE!!!


We opted for black construction paper instead of the popsicle sticks so that the kids could use glue and glitter to make some stars. I guess I should just let them plan the crafts from now on because they come up with the best ideas!

After our spaceships, I helped the kids make some glow-in-the-dark planets. I found these awesome kits at Target and thought they would be perfect for Space Week.


The project can get a little messy while the kids try to pour the powder into these tiny molds...


But the end result is AWESOME!


And they spent the better part of the morning racing their planets down the slide :)


The only way I was able to convince the kids to come back in for worksheets and movie time was to promise when it was all done, we would get to take the telescope out. So the kids finished a few worksheets from these AWESOME Space Week packs from Royal Baloo...

 

Then we read our favorite space book, There's No Place Like Space by Dr. Suess, watched Escape from Planet Earth for quiet time and then headed outside for some birdwatching {not the same as starts...but the kids didn't care}. The kids played with this telescope for at least an hour.





We are hoping to take this with us camping the next time we go out so that the kids can use it at night. So fun, and a great way to introduce them to the constellations :-)

Because the kids worked so hard all day, I decided they deserved a little treat. And really...what Space Week is complete without some astro pops??!


Space Week was a success!! Now...it's time for some Christmas in July :-)

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