# Outer Space Games

By Kendra Dahlstrom

Outer space and it's endlessness is a difficult concept for preschoolers to grasp. Make learning fun and more manageable by incorporating these outer space games for preschoolers.

Outer space games for preschoolers help them understand complex ideas about the universe, stars, planets, and how the earth fits in to all of it. Use these games as the science portion of your lesson plan. Of course young children won't fully grasp the whole idea of space, but introducing terms and concepts helps them begin to comprehend the universe. If you want to create a whole space theme, think about including the games in this article with earth crafts, space books, and astronaut snacks.

## Astroid Toss

This game works best outside in a sandbox, but if you must, it also works indoors with a baby pool half filled with sand. Before the children arrive, stick a wooden spoon in the middle of the sandbox. Then, smooth out the sand around the area. You'll need tennis balls for this activity. Each child gets 1 tennis ball. Write a different number on each ball to differentiate them from one another. Let each child toss their ball onto the sand. The child with the ball closest to the wooden spoon wins. Once you remove the tennis balls, explain to the children that the sand represents the moon. The tennis balls represent asteroids, giant rocks that float around in space and create craters. Show them that their tennis ball asteroids made craters in the "moon" just like real asteroids.

## Pin the Earth on the Solar System

Use the idea of pin the tail on the donkey to play "Pin the earth on the solar system". You'll need to draw a simple solar system with the sun and all the planets (minus the earth) surrounding it. Show the students the picture and explain how all the planets revolve around the sun. Then, show them where the earth fits into the picture and either blindfold them, or have them close their eyes. Give them a miniature picture of the earth and have them try to pin it in the correct spot. The one closest to the earth's correct location wins.

## Constellation Guessing Game

Some outer space games for preschoolers involve the moon and some involve the sun. This game incorporates the stars we see at night. Again, as a teacher, this game requires some preparation. Grab a piece of black paper and place a large piece of foam or cork board behind it. Then, make several simple pictures on each black sheet by sticking holes through the paper with a sharpened pencil or a pen. For example, poke holes in the shape of a flower, person, heart, television, or any other common item. Once at school, turn off all the lights and shut the curtains. Then, use a computer screen as a lighted background and tape each picture to the screen one at a time. The holes light up and represents stars and constellations. Have the kids shout out their guesses or split up into teams and see which team can guess the most correct pictures.

Using games in the classroom helps young students, especially preschoolers learn while having fun. Outer space games for preschoolers slowly introduce children to very complex ideas they'll learn expand upon in later school years.

Image Credit:

PSchubert at Morguefile.com