Last year I covered the Solar System with my eldest son and daughter. At the time we were really into making posters for everything because they would hang them on the walls in their bedroom and it would be amazing to see how much info they retained just by seeing them day after day. My daughter, who was 5 years old at the time wasn’t massively interested in space and the planets … it tends to be a ‘boy thing’ which, at the age of 6 was most definately the case with my son.
I decided that the best way to learn the names of the planets was to have them put together a poster which would be a visual aid. My son knew most if not all of the planet names already but he didn’t know the correct order and within 2 days of this hanging on the bedroom wall he had memorised it, masha’Allah. My daughter is still not a strong reader and struggled with the names but she recognised the planets because we talked alot about them as we painted them, and she remembers the ones that she painted LOL! and with big brother helping her, she has also learned to memorise them.
I followed up this poster with a more in depth project with my son, details of which will be posted later on insha’Allah.
We used an A1 size piece of black card (which was only just big enough) and painted the edge with an orange arc to represent the sun. Then using a brush we dabbed the card with spots of PVA glue and sprinkled with silver glitter to create the effect of stars in deep space. Then my son pasted out the title with PVA glue and my daughter added on the silver glitter to spell out “The Solar System”.
Using a text book for guidance, I showed my son how to use a pair of compasses to draw perfect circles, and he drew the planets on white card according to their relative sizes. Then we had lots of fun mixing up paint colours that would be just right for each planet. The kids painted on the base colours and we left them to dry for a couple of hours before adding on finer details to make the planets look realistic (yes, I did help with that part).
When everything was dry, we glued down the planets and painted on the rings around Saturn (which I later regreted not actually drawing them and cutting them out on card first because the after effects of the painting and the shortage of space on the card meant the rings looked a bit wonky and squashed LOL!) Finally we cut out and pasted on the planet name labels.