This article was originally published on 24 March 2020

As Buzz Lightyear would say, the possibilities for galaxy art and craft stretch to “infinity and beyond!” But here are several space-themed DIY craft and easy paper craft ideas to start with that you can tailor to suit your child’s age and skill set, including setting up a night sky in their bedroom, making a cardboard rocket, creating a moon-phase flipbook and putting together a solar system model. Each galaxy art and craft project presents an opportunity to teach as well as motivate kids to ask questions and soak up all the fun facts about awesome outer space elements, near and far.

How to Make a Solar System Model 

This mobile is more suited to older children, though can be adapted for younger space crafters. Preschoolers may need help with the cutting and threading but primary-aged kids and older will enjoy the fine-motor-skills workout. Then, exercise their brains by seeing if they can learn the names of the planets and their order of distance from the sun, before getting them to discover mind-blowing space facts (such as one million Earths can fit inside the sun!). 

A gif showing planet templates, hands painting them with blue paint, cutting them out and holding them up once cut out on a black background.‍

Step 1: Download the templates of all eight planets. Print this out and paint both sides of the planets for your solar system craft. 

Step 2: Once the paint is dry, use scissors to carefully cut out all of your planet shapes. 

A GIF showing cutting out black circles of card, punching a hole and tying thread through the hole, then pasting the painted planets on to the black card.

Step 3: Cut a shape from the black card that matches the size and shape of each planet, punch a hole at the top of each black card circle and thread through some twine, so you can hang the planets up later. Then glue on both sides of each planet, covering the hole.

A gif showing hands painting a paper plate yellow for the sun on a black background.

Step 4: Once you have all of your planets coloured and ready – it’s time for the sun! Paint two paper plates yellow, then add orange centres by mixing a little red.

A gif showing how to assemble the mobile by tying the planet shapes to one paper plate, attaching hanging strings to the second and then joining the two plates together.

Step 5:  When dry, mark eight equal points around the inside edge of one plate, then make holes with the pencil and thread through the strings of each planet. Cut the strings to different lengths and position around the plate so that the planets hang in order of their distance from the sun – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune. 

Step 6: Mark four equal points onto the inside edge of the other plate, make holes and thread through equal lengths of string and tie them together in the centre. Glue the second plate on top of the first so both painted sides are out, then hang from your ceiling and marvel at the wonder of the galaxy!

Did You Know? Even though it’s night-time, we can only see the moon because it’s lit by the sun.

What You’ll Need  

SEE ALSO: 5 Fun Science Experiments for Kids

How to Re-create the Night Sky

Due to cloud cover or bright city lights, you can’t always see the night sky. So why not create your own Milky Way at home with these ideas for space craft for kids?

Make a Constellation Appear in Your Bedroom

A gif showing Otto jumbo push pins in an assortment of colours, a black Celine lamp and Quill black card on coloured backgrounds.

Step 1: Download the templates of the constellations of your choice. 

Step 2: Print the templates out and stick them onto cardboard. The thicker surface helps stop light leaking through.

Step 3: Grab a drawing pin and pierce holes where the stars are marked. We recommend putting the cardboard onto something soft like the carpet or a sponge, so you don’t accidentally prick anything (or yourself) with the pin. 

Step 4: Once you have your finished sheet, simply hold it in front of a lamp or torch and project the constellation onto a blank wall or your ceiling. Switch the lights off and happy stargazing! 

Hot Tip: When choosing your light source, keep in mind that you need a single bulb – a modern torch with multiple LEDs will give you multiple stars.

What You’ll Need

Create a Galaxy Theme With Stickers

Another space craft project for kids is to recreate the night sky on their bedroom ceiling. First, work out with them what constellations they would like to feature, such as the Southern Cross or the way the stars looked the day they were born.

Check out the planetarium section of the free website to see an image of the stars as they appeared on a particular day or use these templates for inspiration. Now re-create the star map in your room with glow-in-the dark stickers or the help of a Cricut machine.

A gif showing a Cricut Joy machine, Cricut glow in the dark removable vinyl and Kadink glow in the dark stickers on coloured backgrounds.

What You’ll Need

SEE ALSO: Discover the Indigenous Night Sky

Make a Paper Craft Space Rocket

An iconic cardboard roll rocket is a must-make for all kids who love science and engineering, and can be tailored to the abilities of the child. Even toddlers will love this simple craft idea using household items. 

A gif showing an easy paper craft for kids: how to make a space rocket with coloured paper and a cardboard roll.

Step 1: A toilet paper or paper towel roll makes the perfect foundation and having a pack on hand means you’ll be ready for creative lift-off at a moment’s notice. If they’re ready to start working on their scissor skills, challenge them to cut out the paper to glue or tape around the cardboard roll

Step 2: Depending on the child’s age, they can make the rocket as simple or snazzy as they like. Sparkly pom poms and small stickers are perfect to blast off their imaginations, or they can practise more scissor skills by tracing and cutting out windows. 

Step 3: Folding the nose for the rocket is a great chance to hone fine motor skills. Cut a circle of coloured cardboard, mark the centre of the circle and make a cut from the edge to the centre. Overlap the two cut edges to form a cone (the more they overlap, the pointer the cone will be) and fix with double-sided tape

Step 4: Help them cut four small lines into the base of the rocket body, before cutting out two new semi-circles of red cardboard. Snip into the middle of each semicircle – one along the rounded edge, and the other along the straight edge. Slide the half moons together and then attach them to the rocket base by sliding them into the incisions in the cardboard roll. 

Step 5:  Finish off by attaching a red pom-pom “exhaust”. Once the rocket is complete, help them create an environment for it to blast off from. Whether it’s a 3D moon surface made from playdough or a launch pad they colour in on butcher’s paper, this DIY galaxy project is a great way to start conversations about space and rocket science with kids. 

Did You Know? To leave Earth’s orbit and go into space, a rocket needs to travel at 40,000 km/h.

What you need to create cool faraway galaxy art and craft for kids including coloured paper, cardboard rolls, glitter pom poms, scissors, stickers and sticky tape.

What You’ll Need

SEE ALSO: Your Guide to Fun Activities for Preschoolers

Create Your Own Phases of the Moon Flipbook

Perfect for school-age learners, this galaxy art project is a clever trick of the eye and educational (plus a little mind-bending). It’s a great way to help them understand how the Earth, sun and moon interact and why the moon changes shape throughout the month. When the moon is “growing”, it is known as waxing, while the shrinking phases are referred to as waning.

A GIF showing hands flipping a phases of the moon flipbook.

Step 1: The trick to a slick flipbook lies in the book itself. While kids can make their own with paper and staples, the more pages it has the better, so a good size block of sticky notes is the best option. The sealed edge makes it easy to hold as their thumbs flip quickly through each page.

Once they start their moon-phase drawings, it can get a little confusing and if they miss a phase the flip will look a bit jerky. Using sticky notes means kids can take out or even add pages to fix mistakes.

Step 2: Help children research the lunar phases (National Geographic Kids has a good page) and decide how many pages they want to include in their flipbook. The easiest way for younger children to get the hang of it is to do the eight phases and then keep repeating them. 

Ideally, they should first practise drawing them on a piece of paper with a black pencil. Draw a line of circles to represent the moon (they can trace around a bottle top if they are not confident freehand), then shade in the progressive moon phases. They can then use this as a guide.

Step 3: Count out the number of pages needed and draw a circle on each page, trying to keep each one in around the same spot. Starting with the first page, and following the order of their paper drawing, they can now shade each page to reflect the moon phases. 

Step 4: Once the drawings are complete, show them how to flip through the pages and watch in wonder as the shadow appears to move across the moon.

Did You Know? Even though it’s night-time, we can only see the moon because it is lit by the sun.

The materials you need to create a phases of the moon flipbook: pencils, permanent markers, sticky notes.

What You’ll Need

SEE ALSO: STEM 101: Fun Summer STEM Activities for Kids

Discover More Space Facts

If you’ve ignited a passion for all things extraterrestrial with these galaxy themed activities, visit an observatory, keep an eye out for NASA launches and updates from the International Space Station orbiting the Earth, or investigate other materials that will encourage their love of space learning, such as this virtual reality set. In addition to a paint-your-own planetarium, it includes a pair of virtual reality goggles that enable you to explore more than 30 intergalactic spacescapes, from a Moon landing and inside a black hole to a visit to Mars. 

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