Preschool: Outer Space Adventures

Themed activities for your older toddler or preschooler to explore outer space!

 

Themed activities for your older toddler to explore outer space!

 

The outer space adventure began when Lucas was three, and became fascinated with planets and rockets!  It seems like our space adventures never really ended, and we often revisit this theme with our new preschooler.

For our first foray into outer space, we enjoyed two books, “Roaring Rockets” and “Comets, Stars, the Moon, and Mars” (a click will take you to Amazon, where I bought both books. No kickbacks here, though). Both are rhyming and Lucas still enjoys them now (Elias too!), though the latter had some vocabulary that was a bit beyond him at age three.

Outer space themed activity roundup

Finger painted a giant sun, then used bingo stampers to create the planets (Pluto included, darn it!)

Painted a styrofoam model of the solar system, and read the corresponding poem in our book for each (the book does refer to Pluto’s demotion)

Made a rocket out of a paper towel tube (Lucas flew this around for days!)

Used stencils and glue to make outer space tracings with corn meal as our medium (messy but super fun!)

Flew around wearing our astronaut helmet (made by Papa out of aluminum foil)

Traced “constellations” (drew lines to connect star stickers)

Played a space themed recycling game on our tablet

Played with our “space rock” sensory bin (spray painted rock bits purchased at Wal-Mart)

 

A local outer space field trip

We adentured to the Sacramento area Science and Space Center and enjoyed some hands-on science activities.  We posed with a replica of the Mars rover, took a trip in a Space Shuttle, met a talking robot (employees pose as its voice), learned about animals, and made a take home project with space stamps. There is also a planetarium, which we will revisit once the boys are able to sit still and take it all in!

Back when Lucas first became interested in outer space, I couldn’t find a lot of activities online to garner ideas from, so I came up with a lot on my own. Hopefully our exploits have given you some ideas for your adventures in space!

DIY Magnet Board

Looking for an easy DIY to occupy the kids? I found this idea years ago and knew my then preschooler would love a magnet board for his collection of stolen fridge magnets (plus some that I made, too).

I originally wanted to make a felt board for Lucas, but when I presented it to him, he was not thrilled and I was, honestly, very disappointed. My hands-on kid wanted nothing to do with the biggest component of TV-free playtime I could think of, and I was lost! Plus I had a pile of felt that was pretty much useless.

Then, I noticed that things started falling off our fridge… Magnets were disappearing, and reappearing in the oddest places- stuck to hair clips, riding on metal cars, adhered to lamps. And thus I found something I could craft for Lucas- a magnet board!

I looked online, starting on Etsy, and came up short. I wanted something bigger than a TV tray size, but didn’t want to pay upwards of $30 for such an item. Then I did a few web searches, and found some DIY ideas for cheap and easy magnet boards. The most popular option seemed to be an oil pan, so off to Walmart we went. Twelve dollars later we had a suitable blank canvas for the magnet board.

A can of green spray paint (plus some elbow grease from Luis), and we’re all set up for magnet play. I ended up using that felt after all, to make some space themed magnets, and Lucas approves of those!

Mag board pic

This is probably the easiest DIY project we’ve done, and gotten the most mileage out of (kid number two now).

 

*The content in this post originated at a now-defunct WordPress blog of mine that’s been abandoned for years. I decided to pull the most viewed posts from there and re-share!

3 Reasons I Enjoy Public Speaking

I know, I must be crazy!  But between group presentations and solo speeches in college, I learned to love public speaking.  I even claim to be halfway decent at it.  After a few years of classes speaking about everything from Mexican history to the building of the new Kings stadium, I’ve learned to appreciate the opportunities that speaking publicly allows.

 

3 reasons why public speaking can be enjoyable! A lot of people, business professionals included, hate public speaking- but they shouldn't! -WordsbyErynn.com

3 Reasons I Enjoy Public Speaking

It’s still nerve wracking to stand up and start talking to a group of strangers!  But here are the reasons you should learn to love public speaking.

 

1 Your audience is stuck with you

Whether you’re giving a slideshow presentation about amoebas for a science class, a training session on customer service skills, or an Intro to Public Speaking speech about homeschooling, your audience really can’t get away.  Sure, people stared off into space when I gave a presentation about car seat safety.  But, what other choice did they have than to listen?  Hopefully, at least one of those college students remembered my encyclopedic knowledge of car seat safety and applied it later in life!

Whether you’re addressing classmates, coworkers, big bosses, or your community, people are going to listen.  They will absorb at least some of what you’re informing them about.  Take advantage of this, even if you feel like you’re going to puke.  Odds are, someone out there will benefit from what you’re sharing.

I personally learned a few things about dental hygiene, owning a small business, and playing basketball from my classmates’ speeches in our beginning public speaking course.  See, someone paid attention to them too!

 

2 You are honing your skills

By the time I finished my Communication degree, I would jump at the chance to give a presentation, regardless of the subject.  I want to improve upon everything I do, and practice is the only way to get there.  I look at public speaking the same as I do job interviews.  Each interview is a chance to polish up my interviewing skills- job offer or not.  It’s an opportunity to learn how to best promote myself.  Not everyone is going to like me, or think that I’m the perfect fit for a position.  So why not get in there and make contact with the hiring manager, meet some people I aspire to be like, and see where it goes?

The same goes for speaking in front of an audience.  Worst case scenario, they don’t like what you’re presenting and don’t stick around for an encore.

 

I benefit from trying something new

It might be petrifying, but let your fear carry you instead of bury you! Public speaking: it might be petrifying, but let your fear carry you instead of bury you! Click To Tweet

You’ll never know what you’re capable of until you try it.  If you simply go with the fear and do it anyway, at the very least you’ll learn something new from the experience.  In that intro to public speaking class I mentioned, one of my classmates literally ran from the room to throw up during her first speech.  The other two speeches?  She got through them.  It may not have been ideal, but she got out of her comfort zone and ultimately found success.

If I’m not outside my comfort zone at least every once in a while, even I find myself boring.  We need new experiences to grow, and public speaking is one of my favorites!

 

Do you enjoy public speaking?

Or maybe you have another thrill-inducing hobby that scares most normal people.  Tell me about it in the comments!