Idea No.

2903

Space Explorer -6yr- Dress for Space Relay Race

Award

Date

December 2001

From

Sheryl Still in Tualatin, OR  USA

Runner-Up

Space Party

Space Explorer Party  This was a lot of work but a huge amount of fun for a winter indoor party with lots of active 6 year old boys. This party involved converted our two car garage into outer space (described below).  We also downloaded pictures from NASA’s website to use as pictures for the party invitations and to use as posters and for games to add more reality to the party. I used Microsoft Publisher to make the posters and a color printer.  We used a picture of an astronaut taken in outer space for the front of the initiation.   

When the kids arrived, I greeted them at the door dressed in white cover-alls accented with silver Mylar tissue and an official NASA logo on the front to look like an astronaut.  We took a digital picture of each child in front of a poster of earth viewed from outer space to make an ID badge and then they were escorted to the training area to prepare for their day in space.    Each child was given a white painters cap I had gotten free from the paint store (just ask at the counter) and I covered the store logo with a paper NASA logo glued on the front.  Later we gave them each an ID badge that my husband made using their digital picture and the NASA logo for them to wear and take home. 

They started out with an activity creating a Map of Outer Space from Scratch-Art paper that we framed with a paper frame printed with the planets of the solar system on it when they were done.  This activity uses a wood pointed stick that comes with the Scratch Art paper (can be purchased/ordered through an art store or on-line).  They have several variations; we used a multi-colored background with a black coating on it that the kids scratch off to reveal the colors underneath.  The boys thought their space maps were really cool!   

For a second project, they decorated Flying Saucers made out of two paper plates turned upside down and stapled together with markers, glitter and sparkly jewels and buttons  I had left over from past projects.  These were used later towards the end of the party( after the glue dries)  in an outdoor contest to see whose could fly the farthest.  They fly like a Frisbee. 

Next we did Navigation Training (variation of pin the tail on the donkey). We used a poster size picture I printed on my computer of our galaxy and they were given a small paper space craft to pin to a target on the picture.  We were aiming for earth.   

Next we moved to the dressing area.  We had a Dress for Space relay race using large over sized boots, 2 white disposable painting coveralls I purchased at a paint store as the space suits and 2 or 3 helmets I made out of white flexible art foam covered with silver Mylar tissue paper purchased at a craft store.   I glued the silver Mylar tissue on one side of the foam first and then cut and shaped helmets using tape and brass paper fasteners to hold it together (make sure you tape the brads down so they don’t scratch their faces).   

Next we sat down for Take Off into space. We used our surround sound system and TV to view a launch portion of a Space Documentary video tape we checked out of the library.  The boys thought this was really neat since many of them hadn’t seen a real space launch before.  I had also blown up a picture of the actually cockpit of the space shuttle from downloaded from NASA’s website and had it taped over the fire place so they could imagine themselves actually in the space ship.   

Then we lined them up to leave the space ship for a space walk in outer space (our garage decorated for outer space).  We gave each of them a glow stick like the kind sold for 4th of July for the space walk.  They also have them in camping equipment stores as well as toy stores.  Their mission was to find some missing objects out in space. 

We gave them each a black bag which had their name on it along with space stickers for decorations and they were sent out into space to find them.  This also became their party bag.  Objects to find included Moon Rocks (bouncy balls), plastic aliens, glow in the dark string for tying the glow stick around their neck and other glow in the dark stuff.  When they were done we made sure everyone has a list one of everything in their bags. 

To transform the garage into outer space we used cheap paper drop cloths available at paint supply stores and florescent paint, black light bulbs and a strobe light.  The drop clothes are huge and pretty strong.   I made a few stencils of stars and planets out of cardboard and sprayed the drop clothes with stars and swirls of galaxies and comets with the florescent paint.  Then they were hung like sheets from rope with cloths pins for the walls of the space.  Next I sprayed a lot of cut out cardboard stars with the same paint (both sides) and strung them on strings across the ceiling and had some hanging down into the space from above. 

I was able to find a large glow in the dark set of planets and taped them up to the garage door and covered the entire floor of the garage with balloons we had blown up.  Once the room was darkened and lit with the black lights it really looked like another world.   

Later after cake (a dark chocolate sheet cake decorated with starts and planets and a rocket ship)  and presents. They boys went out to fly their saucers and then had the choice of staying out to fly the ships or heading back into the garage to play in outer space.  Most of them went back into space to play until they were picked up.  My son thought this was the coolest party ever!

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