I have been really looking forward to our Earth Science unit this fall. It has taken a while to start in on all our activities, but now that we’ve started we are learning TONS and having lots of fun!
To start of the unit, I felt like we really need to cover some basics about the Solar System again. We got a hands-on kit called the 4M Solar System Planetarium (affiliate link) (which was $10.99 from Amazon) that my homeschooling friend used with her kids last spring. I got one for each of the kids and I’m really glad I did. They all really enjoyed putting it together and painting it. I know we could have done something similar with foam balls or paper mache or what have you, but to be honest it was really lovely just opening the box and letting the kids go.
This kit required the kids to pop out the plastic pieces, snap the planets carefully together, paint the planets, and assemble the model’s base. The kids really enjoyed this. For some parts, my 6 and 8 year olds needed help from me (like snapping the planets together.), but for the most part they worked on their own. ED really loved that it glows in the dark (after it is painted with the “glow” paint.)
While they worked on the project, I read a number of books about the planets. I would definitely recommend this as an easy, hands-on project. If you have a science-loving child I think they would really enjoy this as a gift (mine would!). I would recommend it for ages 6-11 or so. (And just so you know, I’m not affiliated with them or anything, I’m recommending it simply because the kids enjoyed it so much!)
I tied all this in with a number of books. We borrowed a lot of books from the library for this unit. Some of the books and curriculums we used included:
These are affiliate links:
The Solar System by Howard Trammel (Good for ages 7-11)
The Solar System by Laura Hamilton Waxman (Good for ages 7-11)
The Planets: (Out in Space) by Martha Rustad (Good for ages 4-6)
Planets Around the Sunby Seymour Simon (Good for ages 4-6)
Planet Earth/Inside Out by Gail Gibbons
Real Science 4 Kids (Homeschool Science Curriculum we have used a lot over the years.)
Focus On Middle School Astronomy Student Textbook, Student Textbook
I also made a large packet of Earth Science materials for the kids and a day or two later, we did the first page of that packet together. You can grab our free Solar System Packet here:
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase.
You might also be interested in these related posts:
- Earth Science Layers of the Earth Activity
- Earth Science: Plate Movement Hands-On Activiites
- Earth Science Packet: Layers of the Atmosphere
- Earth Science Activities: Earthquakes, Plate Movement and Mountain Making
- Learning about Latitude and Longitude, Using a Compass
- Earth Science: Timeline of Earth Activity – A Montessori activity that is meant to impress kids with the enormity of time on Earth.
- Earth’s Geologic Timeline – How scientists divide Earth’s history into eons and eras
- Earth Science: Plate Movement Hands-On Activities
- How to Make a Earthquake Shake Table
- Awesome Gelatin Volcano and other Activities
- Earth Science Activities: Tissue Paper Volcano
- Free Water and Water Cycle Resources
- Topographic Maps
- The Three Types of Rocks: Sedimentary, Metamorphic, Igneous
- Free Rocks and Minerals Packet
- World Biomes Pin Map
- Preschool Geography
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P.S. Don’t forget to check out the Clouds, Winds, Weather Packet. It comes with the Natural Disasters Packet as well). My daughter is finishing up the documentary series Raging Planet and has really enjoyed that unit!