Sunday, March 16, 2014

Solar System Felt Board

Update: Our Solar System Felt Board is now available in our Etsy store!

We are continuing our Solar System Unit with another felt board! This one focuses on the planets in our solar system. If you are interested, check out our Moon Phases Felt Board! For this felt board I was inspired by Imagine Our Life's Solar System Quietbook Page. And if you have never seen Stephanie's blog, you should go check it out! Her felt crafts are so inspiring and beautiful! Now, while I tried to model our solar system off of hers, it is not exactly the same. We used a slightly different pattern and colours of felt and hers is sewn. I tried to make ours as simple as possible (so others can make it just as easily). We are using this felt craft for our Solar System lessons and matching and labeling activities.

I started by picking out the colours (we buy our felt at Jo-Ann's, so I tried to choose similar colours to the ones she suggested - and she also has a pattern you can print). Then I cut out different sized circles for the planets (traced on paper first and then used the paper as a stencil - also so we can save the paper as a guide for future planet projects) and traced an outer-edge of a large bowl for the sun. I used a disappearing ink pen to trace on the felt before cutting. I just cut along the purple ink line and the ink fades after a couple of days. 

For the planets with additional layers, I simply cut out a second circle (so that they line up exactly) and then cut multiple squiggle lines across. I also cut out a ring for Saturn. I traced out the land masses on the green felt before cutting them out for Earth. And then I glued each of the pieces to the base. 

Here are the colours I used:
Sun - yellow
Mercury - grey
Venus - cream/antique white - I was aiming for pale yellow, but they didn't have any
Earth - teal-blue and spring green
Mars - burnt red or reddish brown
Jupiter - sandstone/tan, antique white, burnt red, brown, red
Saturn - (was aiming for pale yellow) antique white, yellow, sandstone/tan
Uranus - light blue/aqua
Neptune - blue/aqua, teal blue

I also used a disappearing ink pen, craft bond fabric glue (it dries flexible and works great on felt) and a plastic bristle paintbrush (easier to clean and the glue doesn't get stuck in the bristles or pull them out).

We originally used our black felt board but after seeing black felt sheets with glitter, I knew it was a perfect match! I set them up side by side and added a tiny bit of tape to keep them together. I don't want to permanently join them yet, since the kids like to use them separately for their Moon Phases activities as well. I'll join them after I pick up two more sheets so they can each have their own. And I'll join them by sewing a plain black sheet to the back, that way the opening in the front can also act as a pocket when they are put away.

I personally really like the way their Solar System Felt Board came out!

I also printed out Montessori 3-part cards (also from Imagine Our Life) to go along with them. We use them for matching and labeling the planets. The little voice in my head is really urging me to go ahead and make Pluto because I really want to... 

We also used the Montessori 3-part cards that Imagine Our Life created for this unit study. We used black construction paper instead of cardstock. I simply cut out each card and arranged it on the sheet of construction paper and glued them down. I measured and drew lines for each card as a guide (next time I'll know better and use a marker instead of a pencil), that way they would all be the same size, before laminating them. When they were finished I cut along the lines and we began using them right away! Bean loves these 3-part cards and I definitely plan to continue making and using them in our activities!

The pencil line is faint, but you can see that I gave each card a wide border.

This is how the cards looked arranged in the laminator pouch.

And here they are, all cut out! We bring these out after breakfast to work on matching and review, but now we can use them with our Safari Ltd. Solar System! Be sure to check out our review!

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