I got the bright idea to make a solar system with the kids. Me being the perfectionist that I am, my first instinct was to do a papermache solar system to scale. Any of you who know anything about space know how laughable this idea would be to try an accomplish with a kindergartner. Those of you who don’t get the joke, hop on over to Think Zone and plug some numbers into their solar system model calculator:
If you want Earth to be 1 inch in diameter then you’re looking at placing Neptune at least 8 km from the sun. If you want Neptune 2 feet from the sun then Earth would be 0.0001725 cm! Crazy.
So I gave up on any thoughts of accuracy and just decided to keep it fun and easy.
We started out with 1 sheet of construction paper per planet, some scissors (to cut the construction paper into a square shape), crayons, solar system flash cards, and an origami book with instructions to make a paper ball (these instructions could also be found via youtube).
I had LittleMan use the flash cards as a guide while he colored each sheet of paper to look like the planet it would represent (ie, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune). Meanwhile I read fun facts about that planet from the encyclopedia.
When he was finished coloring all the planets, I followed the directions in the origami book to make each sheet of construction paper into a 3D planet-like shape. I twisted some pipe cleaners to make a rings for Saturn then we strung them up above LittleMan’s bed with some thread.
This post has been part of The ABCs of Raising Well-Rounded Geeklings series.