5 Space-Themed Games and Activities Perfect for Kids Who Love Astronomy
Outer space has captured people’s imaginations for centuries. When staring at the night sky, it’s easy to understand why—space is full of mysteries that today’s scientists are still uncovering.
It’s no surprise that space intrigues many kids. Planets, stars, meteors—there’s plenty to learn about and discover. One way to indulge your kid’s outer space interests is with fun, space-themed activities. Making space-themed crafts like a cardboard space shuttle or DIY Moon rocks is an excellent way to encourage their imagination to soar beyond Earth’s atmosphere. If you think your child is an astronaut-to-be, expand their horizons with these fun space games for kids.
Discover the Wonders of Outer Space
These space games for kids are perfect for birthday parties, playdates, or any time you need a rainy-day activity. The best part? They’re sure to delight any young explorer who’s passionate about what lies beyond our atmosphere.
5 Exciting Space Games for Kids
Grab a Planet
“Grab a planet” turns the birthday party classic “musical chairs” into an outer space game. Decorate eight medium-sized balls to look like the planets in our solar system, then grab nine players and get ready for some fun!
If you have more than nine players, decorate more balls to look like stars or asteroids. You should always have one ball fewer than the number of players.
- 8 medium-sized rubber balls decorated to look like each planet (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune)
- Circular rug or large hoop
- An adult places the balls inside the circle.
- When the music begins, players walk or dance around the circle.
- When the music stops, players run to the circle to grab a ball. The player who doesn’t have a ball is out.
- Players return the balls to the hoop. Before the next round, an adult removes one of the balls from the circle, so there’s always one ball fewer than the number of players.
- Continue to play until one person is left standing. That’s the winner!
A black hole is an object in space with such a strong gravitational pull that even light can’t escape it. For this space-themed game, you and your kid will create your own “black hole” and then compete to toss the most flying disc toys into it! This is a great way to add space-themed fun to a birthday party or outdoor playtime.
- 1 strong cardboard box (big enough to hold a flying disc)
- Black spray paint
- String (strong enough to hold the box)
- 8–10 flying disc toys (assorted colors)
- An adult spray-paints the entire box black (inside and out). Let the box dry completely before using.
- An adult uses string to hang the box somewhere outside (like on a tree branch) with the box’s opening facing the players.
- Players take turns throwing flying discs into the “black hole.” Kids can see how many successful throws they can make!
Going to the Moon
This memory game is great for rainy days or indoor events where there isn’t much space to move around. You can play it with as many kids as you want, making it perfect for large groups. Remember: The more kids who play, the more challenging the game will be.
- Have all players sit on the floor in a circle.
- Designate one player to start the game by saying, “I’m going to the moon, and I’m going to take…” followed by anything they want. For example: “I’m going to the moon, and I’m going to take an apple.”
- The player sitting to the right of the first player continues, saying, “I’m going to the moon, and I’m going to take [the word the first player said] and [a new word].”
- Continue around the circle. Each person must repeat all the previous supplies and add a new word at the end.
- If someone forgets a word or lists them out of order, they’re out, and a new round begins. Continue until there’s only one player left.
Solar System Scavenger Hunt
This space exploration game is fun, active, and educational all at once. Your child and their friends hunt for miniature planets around your home, but they only win if they can put them in the correct order.
- Small balls decorated to look like the 8 planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
- Black construction paper
- Clear tape
- White crayons or chalk (optional)
- An adult tapes together black construction paper to create a space backdrop for the found planets.
- Draw circles roughly the same size as each planet in their correct order on the paper. This will be a helpful guide for kids. You can skip this step to make the game more challenging for older children.
- Next, an adult hides the planets around the house. Give the players a set amount of time (10–20 minutes) to find them. Remember that younger children will likely need more time.
- Once time is up, have the kids bring the planets to the black paper and place them in order. This is a great opportunity for kids to work together as a team!
Martian Rock Scramble
This is the perfect game for a young space explorer with lots of energy. The out-of-this-world spin on “capture the flag” is fun for large groups, such as a birthday party. You can designate one kid to be the “Martian” or have an adult volunteer join the fun.
- Candy (or other small prizes)
- Aluminum foil
- Bucket or basket (one per player)
- An adult makes “Martian rocks” by wrapping candy or prizes in aluminum foil. Spread the rocks in a designated area in an outdoor space, such as a yard or park.
- Place buckets or baskets on the opposite end of the yard or field. This is the “space shuttle.”
- The “Martian” (either a child or adult volunteer) stands in front of the scattered “Martian rocks.” Kids begin standing behind the space shuttle.
- The players must collect and bring the Martian rocks to their bucket. If the Martian tags them, they have to drop any rocks in their hands and run back to the shuttle before they can try again.
- Once the kids collect all the rocks, they can open them and enjoy the candies and prizes.
5 Facts about Space
These fun activities are just the beginning of your child’s outer space adventures. Playing games can help foster their interest and curiosity in our galaxy; they may want to know more after playing. Here are a few cool space facts and some kids’ space trivia:
- Six of the eight planets in our solar system have at least one moon. The number of moons a planet has depends on its size and gravitational pull. Mercury and Venus have no moons, Earth has the one Moon we all know and love, and Jupiter—the largest planet in our galaxy—has 79 known moons.
- Speaking of Jupiter, this planet is made up almost entirely of hydrogen and helium. It’s also 11 times wider than Earth, earning its status as a “gas giant.”
- Venus is the hottest planet in our solar system, with a surface temperature of 820–900℉ (438–482℃). Venus’s average surface temperature of 847°F (453℃) is hot enough to melt lead.
- Mars is covered in soil containing red particles composed of iron oxide, reminiscent of rust. If we could watch a sunset on Mars, we’d see a striking blue effect caused by the Sun’s light reflecting off the fine dust in the atmosphere.
- Space exploration takes a long time! A rocket can reach the edge of space in 2–3 minutes, but once you leave Earth’s atmosphere, you’ll be waiting a while to reach your destination. A trip to the International Space Station can take up to 22 hours, and reaching the Moon takes several days.
Is your child still hungry for knowledge about space? Help them learn more about our universe with the Little Passports Space Quest subscription box. This box gives kids ages 6–8 monthly activity kits, posters, and more for at-home adventures that transport them out of this world.