Today’s space playdough activities are inspired by the journey of the probe Juno to the giant planet Jupiter. Will Juno discover any aliens? What else is on Jupiter? Kids can make their own aliens and planets with play dough.
For some hands-on fun, play dough is a remarkable and inexpensive toy. Either purchased at a store or made at home, kids can play with it over and over. It’s suitable for kids of various ages and with a range of interests, as long as they are past the stage of trying to eat it.
To make aliens, kids really don’t need anything more than playdough. They can roll, squish, pat, lump, squeeze and even rip it into little bits. There are unlimited possibilities for making aliens. Since we don’t know, kids can imagine any number, size, and shape of body parts. Plus, any color. Buttons and bottle caps are options to add to the play dough to make features.
Although there are photos of planets in our solar system, there are endless ideas for creating planets too. To date, more than 500 solar systems have been found in the Milky Way galaxy. Scientists estimate our galaxy could contain billions more with hundreds of billions planets. Who knows what these could look like?
Sometimes, it’s hard for parents, teachers, and caregivers to let kids mix up different colors of play dough. One way to do this is to give them a little of several different colors all at once. With paints, when kids combine colors, it sometimes makes a muddy-looking dull gray but with play-dough, it takes a tremendous amount of kneading to get one overall color. What is more likely is ball of swirls of bright colors, sort of like the lines and spots on Jupiter.
Besides being excellent for developing the strength and coordination of muscles in the hands, playing with play dough also supports the developing brain. Kids practice making choices and concentrating on what they are doing. They plan and respond, learning to cope with frustration and making adjustments, such as when the play dough won’t stand up or hold up a body. The best thing about play dough, especially with space playdough activities, there’s no wrong way. Kids can have fun as they create aliens and planets.