When it comes to craft projects, it’s good to think big—and it doesn’t get much bigger than the solar system. Thankfully, this is a scaled-down model, so there’s no need to extend your bedroom just yet.
- Large piece of strong cardboard
- Sharp pencils
- Black yarn (or string)
- Black and white paints
- Colored card
- Hole punch
- Ribbon or string
- Start with a large square of card, at least 18 inches across. Locate its center using a ruler and push through a sharp pencil into an eraser beneath to make a hole.
- Keep the pencil there and tie on a piece of string. Measure this out so it reaches the edge of the cardboard and tie this end to the other pencil. Move the second pencil around while holding the middle one still and they’ll act as a compass allowing you to create a circle.
- Draw seven more, with the circle getting smaller each time, to mark the orbits of the planets. Cut around the largest circle before making a hole somewhere along each line of orbit. Finally, paint it all black, and when dry add white dots for stars.
- Make the sun and planets using colored card: yellow (sun), orange (Venus), white, orange and brown (Jupiter), yellow and brown (Saturn), gray (Mercury), red (Mars), blue-green (Uranus), blue (Neptune), and blue and green (Earth). Make the sun the largest, Saturn and Jupiter the next biggest, Neptune and Uranus a little smaller, Earth and Venus a size below these, and Mercury and Mars smaller still.
- For each planet, place three card circles on top of each other, staple down the center line, then punch a hole near the top before folding out the circles to create the 3-D shape.
- Thread a piece of yarn through the hole, tie a knot, and thread the other end through the correct orbit hole above. For Neptune, cut a slit on the edge of the space disk to pass the yarn through. Tie the ends together above the central disk so they can’t escape.
- Make three holes evenly spaced around the edge of the space disk, tie each with a length of yarn and bring the three ends together. Make sure when you hold all three that the space disk is level before tying them together in a knot and then attaching a short length of string or ribbon to form an “eye.” Ask a grown-up to hang this eye from a ceiling fixing so you can admire your brilliant handiwork.
- From the sun, the order of the planets is Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.
101 Things For Kids To Do On A Rainy Day (written by Dawn Isaac with images by Rachel Warne and illustrations by Sarah Leuzzi)
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