Outer space is not like the surface of our planet. It
does not have an atmosphere. If we want to travel in space, we must develop
appropriate dress, so that we can breathe, stay warm, and be protected from
dangerous types of solar radiation, such as ultraviolet rays, which cause
sunburns and skin cancer.
Emphasize with students that we cannot breathe or stay
warm in outer space, and there may be harmful radiation. We must protect
ourselves. We would need to bring our own gas to breathe, and protection
against radiation and extreme heat and cold. We also have to figure out a
way to go to the bathroom!
There is little gravity in space, so people and loose
objects float around inside space ships and in space itself. This can cause
problems - imagine a bubble of soda getting into electrical equipment.
Astronauts must eat out of squeeze tubes, and be tethered to their beds to
Space is a wonderful fantasy for children. In this
activity, you have the children playact what it might be like in space.
Children should be encouraged to use their imaginations
- Have the students create their own space suit using arts and craft
material. This space suit makes it more realistic for the students to
imagine what it is like to live in space.
Many parts of
a space suit can be created. Here are some examples, along with
suggested materials. Feel free to use your imagination to create other
Oxygen tanks. - Paint 2 liter plastic soda containers white.
After they dry, tape the two containers together. Secure the containers
with a belt, fabric, or velcro so the students can wrap it around their
Oxygen tank control. - Paint a small box white. Either draw
knobs (oxygen control) or use knobs from an old oven or other source.
Tape or glue the vacuum hose to the tank control.
Helmet - use an ice cream cardboard container. Cut the
container with a sharp knife, making a rectangular hole for a
"faceplate". Paint the helmet white and decorate it.
- Encourage the children to wear clothes that simulate what astronauts
wear in space. You may want them to bring in a large white shirt to
represent the a space suit. Oven mitts can act as protective gloves. A
hard hat, bike helmet, or box can represent a space helmet.
- Students also have fun "blasting off". Have them put on
their space suits, and "blast off" into space using the script
below. Let your imagination go wild!
You are putting on your space suit, to protect you from heat and
You get into the space craft, and sit down.
You get ready for countdown, 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 BLAST OFF!
You feel you body trembling from the blast.
You are into space, there is calm.
You can now walk around in the space craft, but you are flying.
You land down on a planet....explore the new planet.
- You can also use a projector with slides of planets or stars, or a
mural painted by the children as a back drop. In their costumes, they
can playact in front of the space scene. Challenge the children to feel
weightlessness or imagine what would happen if they lost their helmet.