Do you have a budding astronaut or aerospace engineer in your classroom? Then try these space activities for preschoolers. You can download them as a set of free preschool lesson plans at the end of this post.
Free Space Activities for Preschoolers
Ever met a preschooler who doesn’t love outer space?
Of course not!
I mean, when you do a space unit study in the preschool classroom, your preschoolers are all ears.
Why? Because they are explorers at heart.
And there’s nothing more worthy of exploring than outer space, right? Well, at least to a preschoolers that is.
A space preschool theme is an old classic, but hopefully some of the 16+ space activities for preschoolers on this list will rejuvenate your classroom and grab the attention of your students.
FAQ About Teaching a Space Preschool Theme
Outer space can be a pretty abstract topic for preschoolers. After all, they can’t really see space firsthand. But that doesn’t mean that the concept of space is too hard. Start by teaching your preschoolers about the sun, moon, and stars. Those are all things they can see in the sky. Then teach about the planets and how humans might explore space.
The solar system consists of the sun and everything that travels around the sun. This is called orbiting. Eight planets and their moons orbit the sun, as well as dwarf planets, asteroids, comets, and small icy objects. These are all part of the solar system.
Astronauts have plenty of things to keep them busy in space. They conduct scientific experiments, collect data and samples, and do repairs on the spaceship. Astronauts have meetings via their computers with scientists on Earth, too. They also clean the ship and work out at least two hours a day to stay healthy and strong.
Hands-on Outer Space Activities for Preschoolers
These space activities for preschoolers are designed to be simple enough to do at home, but they can also be easily done in the preschool classroom. Be sure to pin this page of preschool space activities and download your free lesson plans at the end of this post.
Literacy Activities for a Space Theme
Space Name Rockets – Turn your name into a rocket ship! Grab some colored construction paper and cut out squares of varied colors. Invite your preschooler to write one letter from their name on each square. Mix them up and then invite them to piece their name back together and glue to a large colored rectangle. Add a triangle tip at the top and 3 rectangles at the bottom. You’ve made a name rocket! Invite your preschooler to name each letter and its sound.
Learning about the Planets – Go to YouTube and listen to the song and video Planet Song. Fold in half five pieces of printer paper and staple them together to create a book of the planets in our solar system. Invite your preschooler to draw/color them according to their features. Pause the video after each planet and add a new page with the planet and planet name. Invite your preschooler to write the first letter of each planet, or trace the planet names as you have written them.
Don’t Forget Picture Books About Space!
Because outer space can be a little abstract for young learners, having a really good book list for space can be a game changer. These are some of my favorites.
Math and Science Activities for a Space Theme
Space Grid Counting Game – Print the game and grab dice and counters. Help the astronaut get to the moon or the martian to his spaceship by counting your way to the task at the top of the counting mat.
Shape Rocket Ship – Cut out various shapes or print this template and invite your preschooler to assemble their own spaceship. Encourage them to identify the shapes they’re using and count the sides. If you don’t have a printer, challenge your preschooler to make their own spaceship by looking at photos from the internet.
Dancing Color Planets – This infamous magic milk experiment requires a circular glass pie plate. Pour whole milk into the dish until it covers the bottom. Then add drops of food coloring all over the top of the milk. Add one drop of dish soap in the center of the milk. Using a spoon, gently mix the colors together to make a colorful swirling planet! Check out this Youtube video to see it in action.
Playful Learning Activities for a Space Theme
Build a Colorful Comet Tail Playdough & Pasta Threading – Flatten some playdough on a table and insert a few sticks of dried spaghetti noodles so they stand up straight. Offer some o-shaped cereal and encourage your preschooler to thread them onto the spaghetti stick to make a colorful comet. How many of each can you add? Can you make patterns? How many comets can you make?
Earth Drawing – Give your preschooler blue and green markers and have them color a large white paper circle. Spray water on the paper with a spray bottle and watch the colors combine to make a blue and green earth. Once it’s dry, it will be a little warped and bumpy…just like the earth.
Constellation Sticker Art – Grab some star stickers and randomly stick them on a sheet of black paper. Then use a white crayon to connect them to make constellations. Challenge your preschooler to tell a story about their constellation. Take it one step further and write down your preschooler’s dictated story.
Social-Emotional Activities for a Space Theme
Safe Space – Yes, young children learn about outer space and all that lies above us, but what about having a safe space? A place where one can go to sort out emotions and reset the body? Often times, settling on a place in the house that your preschooler can go to take deep breaths, read a book, snuggle a stuffed animal, or listen to music is a helpful addition to any home.
Teaching Personal Space – Go to YouTube and listen to the song and video called The Personal Space Song. This space refers to an alternate space than outer space but one that is more pertinent to young children. Preschoolers often struggle with personal space socially and interpret being close as very positive. Teaching young children to respect personal space boundaries will make them a better friend with improved listening and awareness. This song teaches strategies and tips to make this lesson run smoothly. Practice personal space with your preschooler and encourage him/her to think of when it would be important to give space.
Don’t Forget Space Learning Toys
Learning about outer space can be heightened even more by having some highly educational learning toys on hand. These are some of my favorite space themed toys.
Just Plain Fun Activities for a Space Theme
Starry Night Cups – Snag some foam cups, black paint, star stickers, and a glow stick for this star-filled activity! Paint a foam cup black and let it dry. Then put star stickers all over it and (have an adult) poke 10 or so holes in the cup randomly. Put a glow stick under the cup and watch it glow! If you don’t have a glow stick, try using a small flashlight.
DIY Telescope – Invite your preschooler to see the stars with DIY telescope fun. Grab an old paper towel roll, decorate with paint, tissue paper, and stickers, and enjoy your magical telescope. What kind of things can you see through it?
Tube Rocket – Repurpose those old paper towel/toilet paper tubes and make a rocket. Simply decorate the tube to resemble a rocket with paper/stickers. Have a sibling or classmate make one too and then have rocket races by seeing how far you can throw them from a line.
Get Online Activities for a Space Theme
Online Story – Go to YouTube and listen to the book If I Were an Astronaut by Eric Brown. Enjoy this book being read aloud by a real astronaut from SPACE! After listening to the story, chat with your child and find out if they would ever want to be an astronaut. Why or why not?
Astronauts! – Take a trip on a rocket ship as you pretend to be an astronaut. Learn about all that you’ll see as you fly through outer space.
Sun, Moon, and Stars Song – This soothing space song is perfect for a calm down time and a great way to teach your preschooler all about the sun, moon, and stars!
Get Your Free Space Lesson Plans Here
Feel like these space activities will fit well into your space themed lesson plans? Grab your copy by clicking the image below.
I am Sarah, an educator turned stay-at-home mama of five! I am the owner and creator of Stay At Home Educator, a website about intentional teaching and purposeful learning in the early childhood years. I’ve taught range of levels, including preschool and college, and a little bit of just about everything in between. Right now, my focus is teaching my children and running a preschool from my home. Credentials include: Bachelors in Art, Masters in Curriculum and Instruction