Space is always an exciting topic for children to learn about, even more so in glow in the dark! We set up a fun glowing solar system tuff spot for the boys to learn about space and explore the solar system topic in a hands on way.

glowing solar system sensory play. Fun hands on learning for the space topic

We used the 3D Solar system from University Games for this activity. The set comes with all 9 planets, and a sheet of around 200 glowing stickers including stars, shooting stars, planets of different sizes, and moons. The set also comes with fastenings (string and pins) to hang all of the glowing planets up on the ceiling, to glow up your child’s room at bedtime but since we wanted to play with them we have kept them down for now.

They make great tools for hands on learning and for space themed sensory bins. The planets are plastic and made up of two halves that snap together. Each one is scaled according to it’s relative size to the other planets which makes it easy for children to compare and contrast them.

solar system space tuff spot (tuff tray) hands on learning ideaOn our tuff spot, we set up a glow in the dark space background that we had painted to go along with the activity. We had added a sticker on to each planet, and onto the background to show the order and position of each planet, so while playing the boys could recognise each planet and match it onto it’s position on the mat.

learning about the solar system hands on play with planetsThis is an easy way for them to familiarise themselves with the different planet names, and recognise the colour and look of each one.

Playing with the solar system in the dark was the boys favourite, since they glow up really well and they loved that effect. I also loved that these planets glow very easily, without needing to be exposed to UV or placed under a black light. They just glow as soon as you put them in the dark – very simple and easy, just the way I like it!

glow in the dark planets, stars, solar systemI will post about our glow in the dark space canvas picture soon, and we have kept some of the stars to make more fun glowing space themed crafts with. You can also stick them all over the ceiling for an amazing starry night sky effect. I remember having some similar glow in the dark planet stickers as a child, and they were brilliant.

We have experimented with putting the little planets into a jar for a portable night light too. They are very versatile. You can buy smaller versions of the glowing planets which would also be good for this.

The plastic glow in the dark stars are great for space themed sensory bins too.

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Space Activities and Crafts

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