Preschool learning units on space provide the opportunity to be creative and imaginative. Students can make crafts to learn about the environment in space and items required for space exploration, such as space helmets. Teachers may use these activities to demonstrate how astronauts breathe and stay safe when they are in space, and students can have fun pretending they are space explorers.
Preschoolers can make their own wearable space helmets for dramatic play. Ask each student to bring a gallon milk jug from home. Ask the parents to wash the jugs thoroughly. Teachers will cut out a section of each jug for the child's face. Begin cutting at the top of the jug, which will be the bottom of the helmet. Cut the bottom third off the jug. Then cut up, removing the handle area and a section approximately 6 inches square. Allow the children to decorate the helmets with star stickers or cover them with aluminum foil.
Ask parents to bring a photo of each child, or teachers may take pictures using a digital camera and print them. Print out a space suit template from a website such as DLTK's Crafts for Kids (dlt-kids.com) or draw your own space helmet. Allow students to color the picture of the space suit. Cut the students' photos to fit inside the space helmets. Allow the students to glue their photos inside the space helmets. Cut out the space suits and glue them on black paper and decorate with star stickers or glitter.
Ask a local fried chicken restaurant to donate paper buckets. Each student should have one bucket. The teacher should cut out a rectangle about 6 inches wide and 3 inches tall in each bucket for the student to see through. Allow the students to cover the buckets in aluminum foil. Allow them to decorate their helmets with stickers.
Make space helmets out of paper grocery bags. Cut off the top 5 inches of the bag or draw a line 5 inches from the top and allow the children to cut the top off. Cut out a rectangle approximately 6 inches by 4 inches for the child's eyes. Allow the children to decorate their space helmets with crayons, markers, paint, stickers, pieces of aluminum foil or pipe cleaners.