Yesterday and today we had Library Space Camp at our Smithville and Redbone branches! It really was a lot of fun! I grew up near the Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama, so I have always had a fascination with space camp. Almost from the moment I started brainstorming about what activities to do for this year’s theme, Dream Big–READ! I knew that we HAD to do a space camp. Basically, I had two stations–crafts and pretend play. I find it really effective to mix things up like this, because some kids like to do both, but some kids only like crafts or some kids only like playing.
Here are a couple of our paper bag space helmets. You just cut the bottom off of a paper grocery bag, then cut a hole for your face out of the front. Then, decorate as desired. I found a printable of decorations that the kids could color, cut, and past on their helmets. The link doesn’t seem to be working now, but you can get to the image by googling “astronaut helmet craft.”
We recycled old CDs to make our own planets! I painted the non-silver side of the CDs with several coats of blue or black acrylic paint ahead of time. The kids just put down some white glue and tore up pieces of tissue paper to decorate their planets. It was really interesting to hear the stories behind all of the different planets!
The other part of space camp was a pretend play area. Here, the kids could dress up, take a space walk to Mars, hold things down at Mission Control (pictured at the top of the page), examine the rock samples at the Discovery Lab, and sample astronaut ice cream.
The astronaut dress-up station had gloves, jet pack, grabbers, and bags for the rock samples). I also created a diagram of special astronaut gear and what it is used for.
Mission to Mars–the kids donned their astronaut gear and tried to collect rock samples with the grabbers pictured above. (Grabbers were about $3 at Target). To set the stage (and protect the floor!) I put down some red and orange fabric. And yes, I actually had a huge bag of rocks to use as Mars rocks.
The Discovery Lab consisted of two pie plates, a food scale, two magnifying glasses, and two paintbrushes (to clean off the samples). I also printed out some simple “discovery journals” and pencils so that they could record their findings.
We also had a rocketship photo-op that my brilliant husband drew and I painted. I got the idea for it here. Our wonderful teen volunteer is trying it out with Baker the space monkey.
All in all, we had a space-tacular time! 🙂
Next week, we are presenting a puppet show based on the book Good Night, Good Knight. All summer reading events are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public. For more information, call 759-2369.