Early Explorers Space

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Travis’s penultimate package from his Early Explorers subscription was all about space and – forgive me for saying it – he had a blast with this one!

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The activity booklet this month was heavy on tracing (letters, shapes, names of planets), but I considered that a good thing, since it reinforces lessons Travis is getting in preschool. We might have liked to see a more detailed space craft or science project, though, since the topic lends itself so easily to both.

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Space Craft:

The craft was actually playing with the included keepsake this month (see below), a set of space-themed stamps and ink pads. The activity booklet included a blank page simply for “stamp fun.” Travis was thrilled seeing the images, including Jupiter, an astronaut, a solar system model, and more.

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Once that page was filled, he needed more paper!

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I loved watching his creativity as he stamped and then cut some of them out to play with.

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Space Science:

As mentioned, it was a bit of a disappointment that the booklet didn’t feature a scientific experiment. But for “science,” we headed out to look at constellations. We also headed out one night to glimpse the International Space Station, You can check out when it will be in your area here. Travis got to stay up late (a treat!) so we could catch an 8.34 fly by. Looking, looking…

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We think we saw it!

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Space Keepsake:

These were the space stamps, of course! See my notes above in the craft section.

Space Field Trip:

Although not recommended as a further activity, it seems only natural to visit a planetarium near you during this unit. Since Travis had done so recently on a school field trip, though, we headed to a fantastic local museum all about aviation, and focused on the final stretch of the museum: space travel.

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Travis has never shown much interest in this section before, but now he was enthralled. He got to simulate landing a space shuttle, see a real moon lander, explore a model of a future space station on Mars, and more.

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Space Further Activities:

First, we checked out NASA’s website to see what astronauts are currently up to. Travis is captivated by the rovers on Mars!

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Then, we found a blog post on Little Passport’s website about World Space Week. First we made a comet: attach aluminum foil around the tip of a craft stick to form a ball.

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Cut metallic-colored ribbon into pieces about 6 inches long; attach to the stick.

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Travis loved making his comet soar!

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Then we designed an alien. Let your kid’s imagination run wild here!

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Travis’s alien was green; he started with its belly, and said it had a belly ache which made it a mean alien – oh no!

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I took him in front of his Little Passport’s map and had him close his eyes and point (you could also do this with a spinning globe). His finger landed on Africa, and his challenge was to describe Africa to an alien who’d never been to Earth. This might be easier for younger kids if you default to having them describe their hometown.

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You can also bring space into your home with fun decorations. We traced stars and moons using a cookie cutter on construction paper, and also added glow-in-the-dark stars.

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I sent a secret loving message on one section of wall. Travis made a “comet” and the “big dipper” in his area!

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For some final learning, we went to the library for a books about space (he loved one about Mars, and another about the gas giants), and also found links online to learn more about comets and meteors, including this kid-friendly video.

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As I said, what a blast!

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