ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The solar system astronomy for kids

Updated on August 3, 2012

Astronomy for kids

We are in an age now where kids are drawn to computers, T.V and many other things that keep their short attention spans. How then can you get your kids to leave the house and consider more than when the next GTA is coming out.

The answer is astronomy for kids. The solar system is absolutely fascinating subject, one which will hold your children's attentions span. So how can you get your children in the planets, the solar system and astronomy.

Well you need to embrace interactive methods, get them playing games and enjoying the subject. Many people think you need a telescope and whilst this can make things even more interesting it is not a vital requirement and a lot of fun can be had using computers, the night sky and some imagination.

So we'll first look at some of the planets and I will link you to some useful resources.

Jupiter and some of it's moons

Jupiter the largest planet in the Solar system, you can clearly see the red spot, which is a storm which has been seen since 1831.
Jupiter the largest planet in the Solar system, you can clearly see the red spot, which is a storm which has been seen since 1831. | Source

Astronomy for kids planets

Firstly let's look at the solar system in order moving from the sun in the centre outwards

  1. Sun -This is our solar systems start and without it we would not be here.
  2. Mercury - This is the closest planet to the sun, it has less than 2 days in a year!
  3. Venus - The brightest planet in the sky and can often be seen with the naked eye.
  4. Earth - The planet you are standing on. Has water in all three states, ice (solid), water (liquid), clouds (gas). This is partly what allows life to survive.
  5. Mars - Got the largest volcano in the solar system at 27km high
  6. Astroid Belt - Contains a dwarf planet called Ceres
  7. Jupiter - Largest planet in the solar system, A day lasts just 9 hours 55 minutes!
  8. Saturn - Even though it's the second largest planet it's also the lightest!
  9. Uranus - has an axis of 97.7 degrees meaning it rotates almost parallel to the other planets
  10. Neptune - Orbits the sun very slowly, 1 Neptune year lasts 165 Earth years!
  11. Pluto - Sadly has been reclassified a dwarf planet
  12. Kuiper Belt - An area beyond Neptune which is similar to the asteroid belt but contain may ices or frozen gases.

To help children remember the planets in order and a couple of facts about each here is a useful video.

Astronomy for kids planets song

The solar system Orbit

The solar system astronomy for kids

The solar system conjures up images in many peoples mind but it really is a beautiful thing to see the video to the right shows the orbits of the planets in the solar system in relation to each other. You can clearly see the fast orbiting Mercury in comparison to the extreme slow rotation of Neptune.

You can help your kids get an idea on the distances involved and the scales by helping them make a model of the solar system:


Things You'll Need

  • Two 4 1/2-inch Styrofoam rings
  • 1 iinch Styrofoam ball
  • 2-inch Styrofoam ball
  • 2 1/2-inch Styrofoam ball
  • 3-inch Styrofoam ball
  • 4-inch Styrofoam ball
  • 6-inch Styrofoam ball
  • Two 1 1/4-inch Styrofoam balls
  • Two 1 1/2-inch Styrofoam balls
  • Yellow, black, orange, blue, green and red acrylic paints
  • Two 36-by-1 1/8-inch dowel rods
  • Paintbrush
  • Ruler
  • Glue
  • Craft scissors

The solar system astronomy for kids

An excelent model of the solar system made by kids.
An excelent model of the solar system made by kids. | Source

Instructions to make your solar system

  1. Cut the dowel rods (wooden rods) into lengths of 2.5 inches, 4 inches, 5 inches, 6 inches, 7 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, 11.5 inches, and 14.5 inches.
  2. Paint the Styrofoam balls to represent the planets. For Mars and Pluto, use the 1 1/4-inch balls For Mercury use the 1-inch ball For Earth and Venus use the 1 1/2-inch balls For Neptune use the 2-inch ball For Uranus use the 2 1/2-inch ball For Saturn use the 3-inch ball For Jupiter use the 4-inch ball For the sun use the 6-inch ball.
  3. Connect the dowel rods to the planets and to the sun with glue. Place the closest planet, Mercury, on the shortest dowel rod, and then work your way down the longer dowel rods as you move on to each planet in the solar system.

Astronomy games for kids

There are loads of games which can be played to help kids with learning about the planets and the solar system some of those are to the right. There are also many sites which have resources and interactive games to help develop your child's interest and knowledge. - This is a superb site which has many games including, build your own solar system, hangman, quizzes, make a planet and colouring resources. It could be used to take what you are talking about and puttito encourageng it into practice. - A set of educational and interactive resources about planets. Has structured content aimed at 4-7 years old. An excellent resource. - A series of games developped by Nasa to encourage astronomy for kids.

Whatever you are looking for remember to also get out in the garden and look at the night sky that is the best and most interactive way to learn, bring astronomy to life and spark a lifelong interest in this wonderful subject.

Children's Planet Quiz

view quiz statistics


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • dipless profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from Manchester

      Thank you very much, you are pretty awesome.

    • TFScientist profile image

      Rhys Baker 

      6 years ago from Peterborough, UK

      Five out of Five! I'm awesome! Good hub - liked the model. Thanks for sharing


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)