I’m a bit of a science nerd. By that, I don’t mean I’m good at science because I’m certainly not. However I’m certainly fascinated by specific sectors within the scientific community, especially anything on outer space and the universe. There is still so much to learn and so much that we don’t know about the universe that, to me, each finding is incredible.
I will binge on a Discovery Channel series about the universe the way most people binge on Netflix. Now my daughter has started to watch the shows with me too and is always in awe of the photographs of the planets, stars and black holes.
Before we had children, I bought my husband a telescope because he said he wanted to be able to show our kids the stars. We’ve now used it a couple of times with my daughter to show her anything cool that might be happening up there and get a closer look at the moon.
With the recent NASA discovery of the seven new planets orbiting in the habitable zone of a star in a solar system about 40 light years away, I was geeking out and I wanted a way to explain it to my daughter.
I wanted something that would be fun for her and I to do and still really look like the images we might see of the planets. I decided to make Slime Planet Sun Catchers. Check out the easy instructions below and get double the fun out of this project by creating slime too!
To make the planets you will just need plastic lids, fishing wire and slime. You can find our Neon Slime recipe (featured below) here.
Once the slime is done, you can start on the planets. We made three planets and one “sun.” It was a good way to discuss how all the planets revolve around the sun and how each solar system in the universe has a sun.
Since my daughter is only about 4, there were more questions about different solar systems at that point. I love how curious she is! So we were also able to talk about how the planets in different solar systems will all look different from our planet. Because all planets look different, we only made one “Earth.” We imagined the other planets and what it would be like to live on them.
Steps for the planets:
1. Pull off pieces of the slime and drop them into your plastic lids. Don’t press down on the slime. It will relax and spread out all on its own.
2. Let it relax and dry overnight.
3. At this point, you can pull the slime planets off the lids and stick the sticky side right to a window. Instant sun catchers! They will morph a little since the one side is still slimy. Or, you can pull the slime planets off the lids, flip them over and let the other side dry.
4. Once both sides are dry you can trim them to be more round if you like. Just use regular scissors.
5. Poke a small hole in the slime planets and lace the fishing wire through.
6. Hang on a curtain rod in front of a window and enjoy! Both side must be completely dry before this step or your planet will sag.
If your son or daughter gets really into it, you really can make a whole solar system or two. These would look great hanging in a bedroom and it’s easy enough to do multiple times if you don’t like the look of one planet or you want to add to your solar system. I’d love to see pictures if you try this with your kids!
Also, if you need a good book recommendation for talking about the solar system and space with your kids, we got this one last week and adore it! There is a great, two-page spread of the planets, moons and others things within our solar system. My daughter loves counting the planets on the different pages and talking about the planets and the moons. And just an FYI, my husband asked her if Pluto was a planet and she said no. Poor Pluto! At least she is learning!