Astronomy Prints and Activities for Kids
For thousands of years, mankind gazed into the heavens, dreaming of going to the moon. On a hot summer day in July of 1969, Neil Armstrong made that dream a reality. Since that night, space exploration has exploded, and people around the world have become more fascinated than ever with orbiting the solar system. Children everywhere dream of becoming astronauts when they grow up. But that fervor has often gone by the wayside, by the time they enter their teens.
So rather than dissuade children from becoming astronauts, NASA has developed a host of space-themed activities. Many schools throughout the country offer courses in astronomy and space science. Field trips to local planetariums are strongly encouraged. Educators and parents are supported in planning activities and projects that teach about the galaxies.
If you are looking for ideas on how to nurture the astronaut within your child, tap into his imagination using print. Since most kids love to create, have your child design his own customized space themed postcards. He can upload a photo of him or herself, on an extra-large 5 x7 postcard, surrounded by images of constellations. Many online printers offer pre-made templates with photos of clouds, stars and planets. Take a picture of your child dressed as an astronaut, and create customized greeting cards or flyers that he can send to his friends and relatives.
For more ideas on how to fuel your child's interest in astronomy, check out the fun experiments, activities, and printables below!
- The Spitzer Space Telescope – Download and print a template to create a model of NASA’s space observatory.
- Space Worksheets – Print out these worksheets and complete them to learn more about space and solar system terms.
- Astronomy Activities – This selection of astronomy activities and experiments demonstrate principles of space.
- Activities from NASA – NASA has compiled a bunch of fun astronomy-themed crafts and activities just for kids!
- The Planets Adventure – Blast off into space on a virtual space shuttle to visit each of the planets.
- Space Experiments – Try out these experiments at home to simulate gravity in space and other phenomena.
- Sun and Moon Sizes – Can you actually measure the sun and moon’s sizes from Earth?
- Sketching the Moon (PDF) – In this activity, you will observe the moon for several nights and draw it.
- Space Photos – Find out how to print amazing photos from space to make your own posters.
- Planispheres – Follow this tutorial to make a planisphere with a few free online printables.
- Spotting Stars – Make a star chart to help you find different stars and constellations in the sky.
- Cosmic Quest – What is it like to live as an astronaut on a space shuttle?
- Sky Observations – Record your observations of the sky during the day and night to see how it changes.
- Moving Stars – Do this experiment to find out how we see certain stars at different times of the year.
- Space Activities – Look through a series of downloadable activity sheets to learn about space, stars, and the sun.
- Astronomy Coloring Pages – Paint these virtual coloring pages online, or print out the booklet to complete it at home.
- Planets Quiz – Print out this quiz and try to match all the planets with the correct descriptions before checking the answer key.
- Space Scavenger Hunt (PDF) – Download this activity pack to set out on your very own solar system scavenger hunt on Earth.
- Solar System Mobile (PDF) – Make a hanging mobile of our solar system with this printable cut out template.
- Make a Comet – Follow the craft instructions in this tutorial to make a model of a comet.
- Recreating the Solar System (PDF) – In this activity, kids will learn how to make a papier mache model of the solar system to scale.
- Solar System Cube Puzzle (PDF) – Print out the templates and follow the instructions to make a cool solar system cube puzzle.
- Space Science Experiments - Check out these fascinating science experiments to understand how pressure, sound, gravity, and temperature work in space.
- Making a Moonscape – Watch this video to see how kids make a simulation of the moon’s craters.
- Space Trading Cards – Learn all about space and print out some free trading cards to learn about objects in space.
- Astronaut Coloring Page – Print a picture of an American astronaut on the moon and then color it!
- Moon Phases (DOC) – Print a set of flashcards to learn about the moon’s different phases.
- Astronomy Quilt (PDF) – Put together all of your favorite things about astronomy onto one big quilt!
- Space Arts and Crafts – Pick from a bunch of fun crafts all involving space travel themes.
- Viewing the Moon (PDF) – Did you know that at certain times of the day, you can actually see the moon?
- Sun Activities – Use the resources on this site to track solar cycles, measure sunspots, and more.
- Exploring Our Solar System – In this fun online game, you travel through space, exploring each of the planets.
- Make a Constellation (PDF) – Create a constellation of your own to better understand the star patterns in the sky.
- The Size of the Solar System – Collect different sized objects to see how big other planets are compared to the Earth.
- Distance in Space – To understand how far planets lie from each other, a roll of toilet paper could come in handy!
- Comparing the Sun – Try a virtual activity to learn how big the sun really is.
- Moon Activities – Have a go at the moon and night sky activities for kids on this page to understand how and why they seem to change.
- Viewing an Eclipse – If you are lucky enough to witness a solar eclipse, you should know how to view it safely.
- Planetary Word Search – Print this solar system word search and try to complete it before checking the online solution page!
- Space Puzzles – Try out this series of space puzzles to learn fun facts about the planets and solar eclipses.