Sunday, August 7, 2011

Making Moon Craters

Today we finally got around to doing the messiest portion of our space studies. It may have been a little messy, but it was definitely worth it! Dude had a ball making "moon craters" and learning about meteors, meteorites and the atmosphere.


We started out by making our own model moon. We did this by using a biscuit pan and filling it with homemade Moon Sand. There are recipes for moon sand all over the web, but we made ours by mixing:

3 cups of play sand
1 cup of cornstarch
and a little more than 1/3 cup of water

(I’d recommend mixing the dry ingredients in a big bowl first and then mixing in the water slowly until you get the desired consistency.)


We then collected some rocks and a marble to represent different types of meteorites.


And you guessed it!  We threw dropped the "meteorites" onto our moon’s surface.
(We placed our moon in the middle of a sheet on our kitchen floor to help contain the mess, which actually turned out to be pretty minimal)


Dude was ALL about this!


We then removed the meteorites and observed our craters. The moon sand held the crater shape wonderfully, but it was a little difficult for preschool fingers to remove the meteorites so I ended up helping with this part.


We also tried dropping the meteorites from greater heights and tried to predict how the craters might be affected.
I’m pretty sure the look on his face in this photo means “ I can’t believe you’re actually letting me do this!”

My son really LOVED this activity!

Some space facts that tie in with this project:
A meteorite is a rock, iron, and/or icy body that hits another body in space.
The Earth’s atmosphere causes most meteors that are headed our way to burn up before they can hit our planet.
The moon doesn’t have an atmosphere to protect it from meteors.
Because the moon doesn’t have an atmosphere there is also no wind on it’s surface, so craters and even astronauts footprints from 40 years ago are still there!

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  1. Very cool!

    Thanks for linking up to Learning Laboratory at Mama Smiles =)

  2. This is very cool! (stopping by from the tot school blog)

  3. That is such a cool idea! Thanks for sharing! Here from the Hip Homeschool Hop!

  4. I've usually seen this done with just flour, and I like the idea of using moon sand.

    Thanks for linking up!

  5. How cool! Stopping by from HHH. Blessings!

  6. What fun! He'll certainly remember the concepts plus how cool his mom was to let him do neat experiments like this!

  7. I never thought about flour. Ooohhh, I bet that'd be a lot messier, but FUN!

  8. Looks like a lot of fun! Thanks for stopping by my blog today :)

  9. We did this same activity a couple of weeks ago! We used a pan of flour as the "moon" and magnetic balls as "meteors" It was messy, but oh, so fun!

  10. how fun - he looks like he had a great time! I have to remember this for when we talk about space. Messy fun while learning is alway memorable.

    Thanks for linking this up to the Sunday Showcase!Hope to see you link up this weekend on the Sunday Showcase. Looking forward to seeing what you have to share.


  11. We've done this with flour - indoors in makes a huge mess, but I don't care they love it so much.


Thanks for your comments!

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