This space scene play mat is one of the best activities I’ve ever done with my preschooler! We learned about planets, space ships, astronauts, the space station and more!
This week the PLAYful Preschool theme is Space! The team has a ton of fun and educational activities planned for you. Check them all out below!
This space scene play mat is an excellent way to teach kids about space while having fun! My husband and I probably had as much fun as my son did making this mat and then playing with it.
In addition, this is so simple to make. Really! You only need a printer and a couple simple materials and you will have a fun play mat that you can take out and play with again and again.
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- Black plastic table cloth – I got mine for $1 at the dollar store
- This printable from Planet Handout from Preschool Post and printed on cardstock
Scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see “Planet Coloring Page and Handout.” You can choose to print as a coloring page if you would like your child to color the planets themselves. I printed as a handout so they were already in color. I printed them on cardstock for more durability.
- Glow in the dark stars – you can also get these at the dollar store.
- Space Toob – I can’t recommend this enough. They are excellent quality and were the perfect items to use for play on the mat. You can also find them in Michaels and Joann Fabric.
- One piece of orange paper
- Clear tape
Making the Space Scene Play Mat
The first thing I did was cut the table cloth down to a more manageable size. I wanted him to be able to use it on the table in our playroom so I cut it to the size of the table.
Next, we cut out a large circle from orange construction paper to make the sun. We taped it to the middle of the tablecloth.
Then, we cut out the planets from the space handout and taped them to the tablecloth. While doing this we discussed where the planets were located in relation to the sun. We used our computer to look at pictures and determine where we should place the planets.
Now it was time to add the stars and other space scenery to our mat. We also used tape to adhere them to the tablecloth.
We then decided that we wanted to add Earth’s moon, so we cut a tiny circle out from white paper.
Playing with the Space Scene Play Mat
Finally, we were ready to play! We added the toys from the Space Toob and started playing on the space scene play mat. It includes the International Space Station, astronauts, The Lunar Rover, a space shuttle, a rocket, The Hubble Telescope, The Appolo Spacecraft, The Gemini Capsule and even Private Ham. Evan wanted to know what each object was. This opened the door for lots of learning!
We discussed which planets were hot, which were cold and which were just right. We named the planets and discussed their distance from the sun and whether the space ship could go that far. We talked about what astronauts do in space.
Each toy in the toob opened the door for a discussion about what it was and what it does in space. We used the computer to look up information if we weren’t sure of the answer or wanted some additional facts.
The learning and playing has lasted all week. My son absolutely loves the play mat!