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STEAM: Folding Solar System

This easy activity is the perfect accompaniment to learning units exploring space! Using simple materials, a folded solar system can help children learn the order of the planets and give them a visual of the size difference amongst the planets. Not only that, this activity can be extended for older children by adding in facts they’ve learnt below each of the planets!
  • Step 1Take a sheet of black A4 cover paper and fold in half, short edge to short edge. Fold in half again in the same direction, then in half one more time so you now have a thin strip. Unfold then refold the sheet in a concertina fold along the creases. There will be eight segments in the sheet of folded paper.
  • Step 2Start with the folded paper so that when you hold it in your hand the folded edge is on the left. Create a half sun (measuring approximately twice the width of the folded paper) using yellow and orange cover paper. Adult supervision is recommended when using scissors. Add the yellow centre of the sun to each side so that it can be seen from both sides. Glue the sun flat against the folded edge on the left, making sure it extends past the black paper on the right-hand side as shown. Allow to dry and use gel pens to write ‘The Sun’ at the top of the paper for that segment.
  • Step 3Use cover paper and gel pens to create each of the planets in the solar system. This is a great opportunity to research the planets and learn about their sizes in relation to each other, as well as their colour and position in our solar system.
  • Step 4Open up the black folded paper so the sun is positioned on the left. The eight segments of paper indicate where to position the eight planets. The larger planets are going to spill over into the neighbouring segments but just make sure the majority of the planet is in the middle of its corresponding segment. Once you are happy with the order and position of the planets, glue them down and allow to dry.
  • Step 5Use star stickers to decorate around the planets.
  • Step 6Use gel pens to write the name of each planet at the top of each segment. For older children or those with greater knowledge of the planets, they may wish to add facts they know below each of the planets!
  • Step 7Your Folding Solar System is now ready to display!

Materials used in this activity

CleverPatch Cover Paper Assorted - A4 - Pack of 275
Product Code: 13652
EACH $18.69 (inc GST) $16.99 (ex GST)
8 or more $14.95 (inc GST) $13.59 (ex GST)          
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CleverPatch Glue Stick - 40g
Product Code: 13974
EACH $2.75 (inc GST) $2.50 (ex GST)
20 to 49 $2.20 (inc GST) $2.00 (ex GST) 50 or more $1.93 (inc GST) $1.75 (ex GST)
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Product Code: 15518
EACH $3.84 (inc GST) $3.49 (ex GST)
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Gel Pens - Sparkling - Pack of 8
Product Code: 19006
EACH $27.49 (inc GST) $24.99 (ex GST)
5 or more $21.99 (inc GST) $19.99 (ex GST)          
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Metallic Star Stickers - Pack of 700
Product Code: 20246
EACH $8.79 (inc GST) $7.99 (ex GST)
4 or more $6.15 (inc GST) $5.59 (ex GST)          
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