Do your kids like learning about rockets, solar system and outer space? Try this space themed sensory bin at home or in the classroom. It’s super easy to make and will provide plenty of opportunities for developing oral language, vocabulary, communication skills and more!
When paired with a good book, this fun space themed sensory bin is a great way to introduce your kiddos to the wonders of space travel.
Why Use a Sensory Bin in Preschool?
Sensory play is open-ended, meaning there is no clearly defined outcome of playing with or exploring the materials inside the bin.
Children use their senses and creativity to explore the materials offered in a sensory bin on their own without the expectation of an end product.
To recap, sensory bin play is meaningful to young children and provides opportunities for open-ended play.
Open-Ended Exploration with a Sensory Bin
A sensory bin is not about keeping kids busy. Instead, sensory bins provide opportunities for children to be successful, regardless of their language or cognitive abilities.
A child who struggles to express himself with language, may touch play snow for the first time and attempt to communicate how it feels.
When the materials inside sensory bins are offered to children without an expectation of a finished product, children use their imaginations and creativity to make sense of the materials in their own way. This experience is often referred to as open-ended exploration.
For more check out this post on Why Use A Sensory Bin?
Space Themed Sensory Bin
I remember watching space shuttle launches in elementary school, it was so exciting and such a special treat to watch TV at school!
Reading a book is great way to introduce this topic to your kids, here are some age-appropriate books about space to get you started.
Homemade Moon Sand Recipe
This homemade moon sand recipe is super easy to make and even more fun to play with!
- 12 cups play sand
- 6 cups corn starch
- 8 TBSP color run powder
- 3 cups water
- silver glitter to your liking
This recipe makes a large batch of moon sand, enough for a large sensory bin that up to four children can comfortably play with at a time. If you are making this at home or for a smaller group of kids you may want to adjust the recipe accordingly.
How to Make This Homemade Moon Sand
Start by adding the play sand to your container of choice. Invite your kids to help you mix the ingredients to make the experience even more meaningful and fun!
Next, add the corn starch and the color run powder. I was going to use powdered tempera paint for this recipe, but the prices were insane. After thinking about it for a bit, I remembered the color runs so many people enjoy. After a quick browser search, I discovered that I could get a large quantity of colored powder in a wide variety of colors for a fraction of the price of one jar of powdered tempera paint- yea! It was a bit of gamble since I wasn’t sure this powder would work in the recipe, but it turns out it works perfectly. Now I have 8 different colors to choose from for future use.
Finally, add the water and silver glitter and mix thoroughly. This is where the kids will come in handy, they can help get all the lumps out of the mixture so it is nice and smooth. The color does not stain hands.
Space Theme Play – How To Use This Sensory Bin
After you make the moon sand, add some astronaut figures and whatever else you want or have on hand to inspire open-ended exploration. I added some plastic, glow in the dark stars from the party store to this sensory bin.
Invite your children to explore the sensory bin. They will most likely start retelling stories from the books about space you have read, then branch out into creating their own scenarios. This is great for developing oral language, creativity, vocabulary, and imagination.
Space Themed Activities for Preschoolers
Craving more space themed activities for your preschoolers to enjoy? Check out one of these posts…
Making Craters Science Exploration (Pre-K Pages) – For this science experiment, we were very interested in learning all about the moon.
Space and Astronaut Sensory Play (Pre-K Pages) – Do your kids like learning about rockets and outer space? Try this sensory bin at home or in the classroom. It’s super easy to make and will provide plenty of opportunities for developing oral language, vocabulary, communication skills and more!
Space Station Dramatic Play (Pre-K Pages) – You won’t believe how easy it is to turn your dramatic play center into ground control! All it takes is one piece of foam board and some materials you probably already have on hand. I made a free space theme printable for you too, keep reading to get your copy!
Nighttime Sky Process Art (Pre-K Pages) – his simple nighttime process art activity not only allows them to freely explore their creativity, it helps them think about this science question, too.
Moon Math Activities (Pre-K Pages) – These moon math activities can be fun for a nighttime or space theme.
Moon Crater Gross Motor Activity (Pre-K Pages) – This gross motor space activity will get students involved in creating craters of their own!
Planet Sun Catchers (Pre-K Pages) – Making this sun catcher is a great way to help preschoolers visualize the planets and our solar system on a smaller scale. It can lead into discussions on comparing and contrasting the planets while kids get a hands-on opportunity to make the planets themselves.