Lunar and Planetary Institute






 

Family Space Day Overview - Gas Giants

Family Space Day is a three hour event. The activities are set up so that children
and parents can select the order in which they undertake activities. Parents and
children are encouraged to learn, play, and explore together.

Objectives of the Day

Children will:

  • learn characteristics of the Gas Giants.
  • model their sizes and distances from the Sun.
  • discover that the Gas Giants are much larger than Earth and made of
    different materials.
  • investigate the interiors of the Gas Giants.

Activities

  • Station 1: Gas Giant Posters
    Children and their parents will view 8 posters with basic information about
    the four gas giants such as distance from Earth, temperature, make-up, and
    size to gain a better understanding of the planets.
  • Station 2: Rocky Planet or Gas Giant?
    After viewing the posters, children will determine whether the statement
    given is a description of an inner planet or an outer planet.
  • Station 3: Candy Gas Giants
    Using craft materials or edible materials, children create a model of Earth
    and a model of their favorite Gas Giant.
  • Station 4: Gas Giants Sun Catcher
    Children create sun-catchers in the shape of the four outer planets.
  • Station 5: Solar System Mobile
    With the aid of clues found in “The Solar System I’m Rhyme” song, children learn about the characteristics and sizes of the planets in our solar system and create their own“ Solar System on a String” mobile.
  • Station 6: Where are they? Traveling to the Gas Giants
    Children investigate the distances between, and relative sizes of, the Sun,
    Earth, and different Gas Giants in this active modeling activity.
  • Station 7: Storms on Jupiter
    In this demonstration activity, your child will see how the clouds swirl
    around in a storm and compare them to the Great Red Spot’s movement.
  • Station 8: Saturn Model
    Children create a model of Saturn using a Styrofoam ball and paper plate.
  • Station 9: Saturn Flip Book
    Children learn about Saturn’s layers as they create their own flip book.
  • Station 10: Coloring Sheets and Games
    Children can relax and color and play simple games related to the gas
    giants.
  • Station 11: Reading Room
    Children and their parents can browse and read a selection of books about
    the gas giants (refer to book list for suggested reading).

Other Materials

Facilitator Information – Gas Giants
Explore the Gas Giants– Book and Website References
All About the Gas Giants– A Gas Giant Fact Sheet

 

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