In my house, we’ve entered that time zone in which school’s over but camp has not yet started. What’s a mom to do? To help fill the gap, I’ve scheduled two weeks of crafting fun for kids. To kick it off, today I’m sharing how to make a Solar System Poster. A while back, I posted a tutorial to make a Solar System Model, and as part of that post, I pictured a Solar System Poster. I had a lot of requests for instructions to make the Solar System Poster, which Kathleen George kindly pulled together for us. So, here’s how to make your very own Solar System Poster. Have fun!
To make a Solar System Poster, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: One each 5”, 4”, 3”, 2-1/2”, and 2” balls; two 1-1/2” balls; 5” x 5” x ½” sheet
- Acrylic craft paints: Yellow, orange, dark-blue, blue-green, cobalt-blue, light-blue, red
- Foam board, black, 20” x 30”
- String, 28”
- Push pin or thumb tack
- Metallic pen
- Transparent tape or masking tape
- Thick, white craft glue
- Tools needed: Serrated knife or plastic knife*; old candle or bar of soap; teaspoon; stiff paint brush; chopsticks; ruler; several jars; pencil
*Note: Only an adult should handle the serrated knife; an adult should closely supervise children who are using a plastic knife.
To make a Solar System Poster:
1. If using a serrated knife, wax the knife blade with a candle or bar of soap. Use the serrated knife or a plastic knife to cut in half all balls except for one, 1-1/2” ball. Brush away excess crumbs by lightly rubbing together the two cuts sides over a trash can.
2. Firmly roll the remaining 1-1/2” ball on a tabletop, compressing it to 1-1/4”. Cut the ball in half.
3. Place half a 3” ball on the ½” foam sheet. Trace around it with a sharp pencil. Draw a second, larger circle 1” away from the 3” circle. Use tip of serrated knife to cut out the ring. Smooth edges with the bowl of a teaspoon.
4. Paint half balls according to Chart 1. Insert a chopstick into the cut side of the half balls to use as a handle. Place the chopstick in a jar while paint dries.
5. Prepare the display board. Measure 10” down from the top of the board, and 3” in from the right-hand side and make a mark. This is the center of the sun.
6. Next, mark the distance of each planet from the sun. Make a dot for each planet along the center line of the board using the measurements in Chart 2.
7. You will use a string compass to draw the orbit for each planet. Cut a piece of string about 28” long. Wrap a piece of tape around each end so the string doesn’t fray.
Start by drawing the orbit for Mercury:
- Insert a pushpin into the tape at one end of the string and push the pin firmly into the center of the sun as marked on the poster.
- Gently pull the string out towards the left and place your pencil point on the dot for Mercury (3-1/2” from the push pin).
- Wrap the extra string around the pencil till it’s taut.
- Keep the string straight and taut as you gently move the pencil toward the top of the poster and then back down toward the bottom, drawing a curved line for the orbit.
8. Repeat, drawing the orbit for each planet.
9. Draw a dotted line along each curved line using the metallic pen.
10. Attach each planet using thick, white craft glue. Let the glue dry.
11. Label each planet.
Be sure to keep this one handy. If you don’t make a Solar System Poster this summer, I’m sure there will come a day when your child says “Mom, I have to make a Solar System for school . . .”
I can’t wait to share a few more of the kids’ crafts I’ve lined up for the next two weeks. It’s going to be a lot of fun! Be sure to come back each day to see what’s new. Thank you, and I’ll see you tomorrow.