Homemade Planetarium

“For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” –Vincent Van Gogh 

Painting Earth on a yogurt lid
Painting Earth on a yogurt lid

Both boys have been focused on the solar system for months now. Our conversations, the books we read, their imaginative play and art they make revolve around space. Big Brother has drawn pictures of rocket ships, planets, and stars as well as created and launched plastic bottle rockets. We saved up yogurt lids for weeks to paint the planets and sun. Both boys take trips to the moon and fly through space in cardboard boxes, on couch pillows or in open suitcases. We’ve visited numerous museums to explore the solar system further. Even saw an awesome planetarium show a few months ago that the boys still talk about now.

Over the last few weeks we have been receiving a lot of packages in the mail for birthdays. I really love creating things out of cardboard boxes. I love the magic that takes place with a simple box and a child’s imagination. When Big Brother was a baby, I use to make TONS of cardboard box creations. I had more time and energy then. (Looking back, one kid was SO easy!)

It’s true these creations take up way more floor space than we can spare, but the boys have so much fun with them that I just deal with it for fun’s sake. Big Brother had picked out some star stickers at the store the other day and I got this idea to turn a couple of boxes into a homemade planetarium!

First we painted the inside of one box black. This took some patience on my part because handing two boys some black paint and paintbrushes can be a bit nerve racking…but I took deep breaths and they had a blast. It’s activities like this that makes me eager to turn our basement in to a playroom/mess room space so that I don’t have to worry about black paint in my kitchen. We’ll get there…

Next we found some glow in the dark paint at the art store and covered our star stickers. The stars require exposure to light in order to glow, which has become a favorite activity of using the flashlight to recharge them in the planetarium.

After the construction of the planetarium’s structure, the boys got crazy with the stickers. They added the glow in the dark stars and stickers left over from our LeapFrog LeapReader Interactive Solar System. This was a fun addition because our LeapReader pen will interact with the stickers and give fun facts and songs about the planets.

Since creating our planetarium, it has been a daily go to for the boys. They will spend so much time sitting inside the planetarium pretending to blast off into space and telling each other stories about where they’re going and what they’re seeing. Love it.

Inside the Planetarium
Inside the Planetarium

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