Blast Off! Pretend Play Astronaut

This post may contain affiliate links.

Young astronauts, get your rockets and space ships ready to blast off into pretend play imagination land! Lucky for me, I got to play astronaut in Leann Ausec’s playful ECE room at Aspen Academy where I took these photos. So, what can young astronauts do to playfully learn about space?

Pretend Play Astronaut

Build background knowledge and learn about space, constellations, and the phases of the moon.

Read books about space.

Pretend Play Astronaut

Then, create your play space!

Make a rocket ship to the moon.

Use cardboard boxes of all sizes to make a rocket. Tape together with colored masking tape. Directions for a small cardboard rocket here.

Make a control panel dashboard of buttons from cardboard or old parts.

Make a space suit and helmet.

Make an astronaut helmet with a paper bag, plastic milk jug, or cardboard box covered in aluminum foil. Make your own astronaut costume. Tape together two soda liters to make oxygen tanks.

Make planets, stars and a solar system.

Make planets out of
– Styrofoam balls
– play dough
– salt dough
Directions for a solar system mobile.
Directions for a star mobile.
Directions for s to-scale solar system.

Create your own a enclosed solar system using a recycled plastic bottle, oil, small balls water, food coloring, and glitter. Directions here.

Decorate your play space with stars. Can you make the stars into constellations? Print this Star Finder game from NASA to learn the constellations.

Now, PLAY!

Play astronauts and land on the moon.

Pretend Play Astronaut

Grab moon “rocks” (see above) or sort moon pebbles and rocks by size, color, or shape.

Can you walk on the moon? Try walking on Bosu balls.

Play with space-themed sensory tubs (top photo) with spaceships, planets, and astronauts sensory tubs.

Play with moon sand — you can make your own with play sand and cornstarch! Moon sand recipe here.

Pretend Play Astronaut

Take astronaut photos.

(Yikes! My head seems a bit large. –>)

Travel to a space station.

MORE space ideas:

Mommy Lab’s Space Birthday Party

2 Teaching Mommies Unit on Space

Blast Off Space Unit for Preschoolers

Kennedy Space Center Shop

NASA Space Play website

Have a blast (sorry, couldn’t resist) playing space!!

Want to know why Play-based preschools are better for kids than academic preschools? Read this article from Scientific American called “The Death of Preschools.

Coding for Kids, 25 Pretend Play Ideas for Kids, Nursery Rhymes, Roald Dahl Books

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Hey Mellisa this is grat last year i had a space theme and everybody really enjoyed it i was online looking for some new ideas as i might do it again and i think some of the ideas here are really great thanks for the post.

    1. This looks amazing!!! I love the fact that the best way to learn, ultimately, is still just the same as it was when I was little. This is definitely the way my children shall learn anything, through exploration and experience!! 😀

  2. Such fun stuff! I also wanted to suggest a great Klutz book called Klutz Guide to the Galaxy. My son loved it and it’s great for ages 8 and up (though 6 with help reading works too!). It’s very informative with crafts built inside … I am remembering a telescope that he put together plus some other fun stuff.

    I love these posts that you do that combine education with really fun activities though I am not the kind of mom to pull off the crafts. I do really think it’s activities that go deep (should your child have great interest) that ignites their imagination and someday might be that moment in time that marks the start of their lifelong passion or career!

    1. thanks, I’ve seen that book but never tried it. Sonds fun! And, wouldn’t a real telescope be fantastic?
      I’m not a crafty mom either – we have good synergy, Mia! 🙂