Find lots of ideas to help you create a space dramatic play area. Your kids will have so much fun as they learn about space and pretend to be astronauts.
Are you looking for some fun, play-based ways to add science learning into your classroom? Why not transform your dramatic play area into a space theme. With these ideas, your little astronauts will be blasting off in no time.
The printables featured in this post can be found in my store. I added several links at the bottom of this post. Use the links and ideas to help you shop for props to add to your center. There will be no additional cost to you when you make a purchase from a link, but a small portion of your purchase will be used towards maintaining this website…and for that, I thank you.
Create a Mission Control Center
You can’t have a space mission without a mission control center. You can easily set up mission control with a table and a couple of chairs. Add some keyboards, computer monitors, old laptops, phones, headphones,etc. Get out your plastic bottle cap collection and use it to create knobs, buttons, and dials.
Kids can also create a flight plan and map out the mission in this area.
Make a Rocket
Now, all you need is a rocket. You seriously don’t need anything fancy to create a rocket or space station. You can use a large cardboard box, a designated space in the corner of the room, or space under a table.
I recently replaced a dishwasher, so we made a rocket from the box. I cut one of the sides out and cut a couple of portholes so that little astronauts can look out. Kids can use their imagination to make pretty much anything, so you don’t have stress yourself out about making it look just right. I used a gray plastic table cloth and some silver duct tape to cover the outside.
A rocket needs a control panel. Create one with plastic milk caps, foam shapes, or use a printable control panel. Reinforce number recognition by adding numbers to some of the buttons. Kids love hitting the buttons as they countdown 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 BLASTOFF!! It’s also really fun to shake the rocket as it blasts off into space.
You don’t want things floating around in the rocket. Use hook and loop tape to attach tools, food, clipboards, and crayons to the walls.
Don’t let unauthorized personnel in your rocket, so a fingerprint scanner and a number pad are a good idea. Have fun creating your rocket!
Dress Up Clothing
Of course, you can buy astronaut costumes and helmets to use in the pretend play area. Here are a couple of ideas that are friendlier on the budget. A large white t-shirt can totally work as a spacesuit. If you want to make it a bit fancier, add strips of silver tape or a flag. Inexpensive disposable painting coveralls work really well too.
Remember that Velcro was first used in space. Use some to attach tools to the spacesuits.
Your little astronauts might want to take a space excursion and may need a jet pack to help them get around. Check out my tutorial to learn how to use duct tape and two empty two-liter bottles to make a cool DIY jetpack.
Kids may enjoy helping you make space food for their trips. You can use felt, colored paper, or pom-poms to make space food.
Space missions usually involve some type of research. Your kids can study materials that have come from space (moon rocks, meteorites, or soil from a planet). They can also study plants or animals that have grown in space.
You can make moon rocks by balling up a piece of aluminum foil. Make it more dense and smooth by hitting it with a mallet. Want to make some moon rocks that are a little bit heavier? Cover some rocks with foil.
Provide a scale, magnifying glasses, measuring tapes, & tweezers/tongs.
Kids can examine, weigh, measure, and sort the rocks.
Every astronaut needs training. You can set up an area that is perfect for your little astronauts in training. You can provide books so that they can learn all about space and the solar system. They can work on learning how to use equipment like grabber tools. You can also provide exercise equipment like light hand weights and jump ropes in this area so that they can get their bodies in shape.
While the astronauts are training they can study the night sky in a DIY observatory. Of course, you will probably have to make a night sky. But, this can be easily made by attaching star cutouts to a black poster board or a black table cloth. Kids can use cardboard tubes as telescopes.
Extension: Add a literacy component to this activity by writing names or letters on the stars. Kids can then use a telescope to search for their name or for letters in their name.
Rocket Building and Testing
Provide some building materials like blocks and recyclables so that kids can design and make rockets. They can also make little straw rockets and run test flights with them.
Purchase the Space Dramatic Play Area Printables
Well, I hope that these ideas gave you some inspiration for setting up a fun space-themed dramatic play center in your classroom. The printables pictured in this article are available in my store as part of my Space Dramatic Play Resource or my Science Dramatic Play Bundle. They include the items pictured, plus banners, observation sheets, and more. Click below to purchase them today
Below are some items from Amazon that can be used for the activities mentioned in this article. The links below are affiliate links. If you happen to purchase something from a link, there will be no additional cost to you, but a small portion of your purchase will be paid to me. I use these small commissions to pay for the maintenance of this website.