The unknowns of space have captured the imaginations of people for millennia. From the outer reaches of the universe to our nearest neighbor, the moon, space is truly a wonder to behold.
What child hasn’t gazed at the moon, noticing its patterned surface and wondered what it looked like up close? This gross motor space activity will get students involved in creating craters of their own!
Moon Crater Gross Motor Activity
- Black sheet of poster board
- Tape (we used painter’s tape)
- White toothpaste (we considered using shaving cream as well)
- Wiffle ball
- Butter Knife
Make a large circle on the poster board with toothpaste. Fill it in with more toothpaste and spread it out as smoothly as possible with a butter knife.
Play the Space Toss Game
Secure the poster board with tape to a flat vertical surface. (Please keep in mind this activity can become messy. We decided to do this outdoors against our garage.)
Explain to your students what an asteroid is. Ask students if they know what happens to asteroids that come near the earth. (They are burned up by friction when they pass through the earth’s atmosphere. That’s what “shooting stars” actually are.) Explain that the moon doesn’t have a large protective atmosphere like the earth, so its surface is vulnerable to asteroids.
Ask kids if they’d like to find out what will happen to the moon when asteroids hit. Hand a child a wiffle ball and instruct them to try and hit the “moon”.
After they strike the “moon” examine the damage. Explain that craters on the moon are formed the very same way.
Encourage children to see what happens when they strike the “moon” from a further distance or up very close.
Their young bodies will be fine tuning how much force they need to exert to get the ball to travel various distances. They will be working on hand-eye coordination and gross motor skills all while learning science.
Another adaptation would be to make a larger “moon”, use a larger ball, and kick the “asteroids” instead of throwing them.
BIO: Julie writes at My Mundane and Miraculous Life, a resource for parents who take a hands-on approach to their children’s education. She is the mother of three tornados. They love learning with fun and exciting themes at home. This month is all about flowers! You can keep up with the blog on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.