Are you teaching a space theme in your preschool classroom or homeschool? Keep reading for the most out of this world preschool space activities around!
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PRESCHOOL SPACE ACTIVITIES
Space is the most fascinating topic for little learners! They love learning about planets, the moon, rocket ships, and of course aliens! What better way to sneak in math & literacy skills than by teaching an engaging space unit?!
Keep reading for over 20 space-themed activities for your preschool, pre-k, and kindergarten students. These ideas include math & literacy printables, fine motor, gross motor, sensory play, art, and more! Oh, and there’s a freebie, too!
If you want a copy of my yearly themes (including an editable version where you can type in your own themes), check out this freebie. (*Please note: You will need to download this file to your computer and then open it with Adobe in order to add your own themes. You cannot add your themes from your web browser.)
PRESCHOOL SPACE ACTIVITIES: LITERACY
You’re definitely going to want to start your space unit with these space vocabulary cards! These are the perfect way to introduce your little learners to the vocabulary they’ll need to do so many different space activities. You can use these words in your writing center, as a Write the Room activity, or as a picture match.
Phonological awareness skills are the key building block to reading success, which is why they should be practiced a little bit every day. In order to keep things fresh & engaging, I like to use phonological awareness games that go along with my current theme. Click here to check out these Way Out in Space phonological awareness games that will help your little ones become strong readers in less than 10 minutes a day (and with zero supplies!)
Here’s a mess-free option for sensory play that my kiddos love! All you do is add blue hair gel to a quart-sized ziplock bag, then throw in some gold stars and letters. Seal it, tape the ends, and then tape it down on the table. Have you little ones move the letters around to spell their name, sight words, vocabulary words, or just name each letter and sound. So many possibilities with this one!
How fun is this Decode Your Space Missions activity?! You can tell your little ones that NASA has a TOP SECRET mission for them, but NASA has to send it in secret code so no one else will read it! They’ll love figuring out the message, which will then lead into imaginative astronaut play!
Learning about the phases of the moon is a fun science topic for our preschoolers, but it can also help them practice sequencing, picture matching, and patterning. Plus they’ll be so excited to observe the moon each night and make predictions as to which phase it’ll enter next. Great way to develop scientific thinking!
One of our favorite things to do is wrap things in foil (such as letters, puzzle pieces, or small toys). My little guy LOVES to unwrap them, which is a great way to build fine motor strength. For this activity, just wrap up letters in foil and call them “moon rocks,” then have your little ones unwrap them and match them to this FREE ABC Chart.
Help your little ones practice their cutting skills with this fun printable! They can also use it to trace the lines, but be sure to have them turn the paper sideways (so they’re drawing from left to right). We don’t want to get them into the habit of drawing from the bottom to the top since that’s not the correct way to form letters.
These rockets are heading into outer space, but they can only take passengers that rhyme with the astronaut captain. Preschoolers will LOVE finding the rhyming words to complete their rocket and then send it off into space!
Play dough is so much fun to use with our little learners. It’s a great way to develop fine motor strength, plus it sparks creativity & imaginative play! My littles loved using these play dough mats to make different space-themed pictures.
Visual discrimination is an important skill for our preschoolers to practice, especially since so many letters look similar to one another! Spaceship ABCs will give them a chance to find the matching letters & mark them off, either with a small manipulative, clothespin, or even a fun hole puncher.
This activity is great because it can be used as either a letter match (which is how I set it up for my little guy) or a beginning sounds match. Just cut the suns in half and have your preschoolers match up the letters and pictures.
This is such an easy & fun craft for your preschool space theme, plus it allows your little learners to practice their names (which is a key skill for preschoolers). Click here to download a FREE template to make your own name rocket!
PRESCHOOL SPACE ACTIVITIES: MATH
Here’s a great math activity that can be differentiated to meet all of your learners’ needs. You can use it to practice colors, number recognition, even/odd, and ten frame identification. Plus your preschoolers will have fun flying their rocket ships to the correct planet, which adds in more imaginative play!
Get your kiddos working on size discrimination by putting the planets in order from biggest to smallest (or smallest to biggest). You can also have them match up the clip art planets to the more realistic planets. Or you can have them put the planets in the correct order from the Sun.
This might have been our favorite activity from our space unit! Have your preschoolers roll a die, count the number, and then add that number of eyes to their play dough alien. So simple yet so engaging!
More alien fun, only this time, we’re making alien patterns! Your little learners will work on duplicating/extending a variety of patterns (AB, ABC, ABB, AAB) and then they’ll create new patterns.
If you were packing for a trip to space, what would you take? Our astronauts are taking magnifying glasses, books about space, and hammers! This game is super fun because students choose a card that tells them how many magnifying glasses, books, and hammers to pack for their trip, and they have to lay them out on the mat.
Once you’re all packed for space, then it’s time to LIFT OFF! (Did you know astronauts don’t say “Blast Off?” It’s true! They actually say “Lift Off.” That’s a fun fact you can teach your kiddos in this unit!) This is a great game that works on math and gross motor skills.
Find the correct planet shapes with this fun activity! This game can be easily differentiated. You can ask them to find a shape by giving its name, such as triangle. Or you can ask them to find a shape that has 3 sides and 3 points. You could even ask them to find a shape that starts with the /t/ sound if you want to incorporate some literacy, too.
If your little learners are ready for basic addition, this activity is perfect for them! They can roll a die and use stars to create addition problems. Have them roll two dice for even more of a challenge!
Here’s a great use for these adorable rocket ship numbers…a simple number match! Just write the numbers on dot stickers, and then have your little one match them up. Super low prep but high engagement!
This activity is awesome because it teaches your preschoolers about the different temperatures of the planets, and then it asks them to compare the planets’ temperatures. You can also talk about how the order of the planets from hottest to coldest is NOT the same as the order of the planets closest to the sun to furthest from the sun…crazy, right?! They’ll love this fact!
Work on numbers sense with this hands-on math game. There are two versions: More Than 5, Less Than 5 and More Than 10, Less Than 10. In my class, we pretended that the astronauts could only go to space if they had a number that was “more than.” If they had a number that was “less than,” they were grounded on Earth! The kids LOVED this!
PRESCHOOL SPACE ACTIVITIES: SENSORY & ART
We had a few sensory bins set up for this unit. This first one was VERY basic and easy. We just added black beans, glow-in-the-dark stars & moon, and some plastic planets. This sensory bin is great because you can add any printables to it & it’s not very messy.
We got this set of planets & stars from Amazon, which was supposed to be a hanging model set…but it works perfectly in a sensory bin! These are awesome because the big ones (Sun, Saturn, and Jupiter) open up, so they can be used as scoops.
Our second sensory bin was SUPER messy! But it was still a blast! We made Moon Dough, which is similar to Cloud Dough that we’ve made before. Then we added in our planets, stars, and a space shuttle we got on a visit to our local space museum.
Have you ever tried marble painting? It’s pretty fun! All we did for this activity was cut up a circle (planet) and put it into a box. Then we added a few squirts of paint and marbles, and my little ones rolled the marbles all around to create their masterpieces!
They looked pretty great when they were done! Then we glued them to black paper and added some gold stars.
OUT OF THIS WORLD SPACE FUN
I hope these ideas helped you fill-in your space-themed lesson plans for your preschool classroom or homeschool! All of the printables for this unit can be found in my Way Out In Space Preschool Activity Pack.
Do you teach a space theme with your preschoolers? Do you have any fun activities that would be great for it? Comment below or find me on Instagram [@littleslovelearningblog] and let me know!