Tag Archives: space

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

It’s rare a craft tutorial comes with a soundtrack, but I’ve had this earworm the whole time I’ve been making this space craft, so it’s only fair to pass it on. This month Craft Merrily have challenged the Bostik Bloggers to create a space themed craft. I was very happy with this brief as my son has a space themed bedroom and I knew whatever I made would end up hanging from his ceiling being admired by 6 year olds. 

I decided to create a planet and I wanted to make one with rings because they’re prettier right? I didn’t want to do Saturn as that was too obvious, so my husband suggested Uranus as it does have rings. 

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

For more information about Uranus, visit https://www.nasa.gov/uranus

How to make your own Uranus

You will need:
1 polystyrene ball
Half a sheet of tissue paper
A “ring” of cardboard cut to fit the ball
Glue
Blue and silver paint
Bostik White Glu
A length of fishing line

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

How to make Uranus:

Using an egg cup to balance your polystyrene ball on, carefully tear up the tissue paper into pieces a few centimetres square and stick onto the ball using the glue. Once covered, leave it to dry for an hour or so.

Once dry, carefully put the cardboard ring around your planet. The ring should be cut to fit the ball snuggly. 

When the ring is in place, paint over your planet and its ring in blue (or whichever colour you choose, your planet, your rules). You might need to give it a few coats, but remember to leave it to try in between. If you’re in a hurry, a hairdryer can be used to gently speed up the drying process.

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

Once the blue base coat is dry and you are happy it doesn’t need more coats, paint over with silver paint. I wanted the silver paint to seem a bit like gases, so I dabbed it all over the planet and the rings so you could still see the blue underneath. Leave this to dry (again, carefully use a hairdryer if you’re in a rush).

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

When Uranus is dry, take a length of clear fishing line and cut it to the required length. Tie a knot in the middle and thread the pin through the knot and tie it tight. Stick the pin in Uranus, thinking about how you want the planet to hang. I thought it would look pretty at a slightly jaunty angle, so I went with that.

I was going to embellish my planet with sequins and shiny stars, but it was so pretty as it was that I thought I would leave it as it is. If you decide to make your own Uranus, or another planet of your choosing, then you can paint it or embellish it however you’d like. 

I’m really pleased with how my Uranus has turned out. I know my son will enjoy adding it to his bedroom planetarium.

Craft Tutorial: Recreating Uranus (other planets are available)

Note: I am a Bostik craft blogger and I was sent the materials to create this craft from Craft Merrily. 

Check out my other craft tutorials here!

An audience with Astronaut Tim Peake in Manchester

On Saturday we set off an an out of this world adventure at the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry (known locally as MSI). We were part of a small audience with astronaut Tim Peake – something the small boy was beside himself with excitement about. 

Tim was there for a very special event, a trailblazer for the Manchester Science Festival. He was there to talk about his adventures on board the International Space Station. 

Tim Peake

Aspiring astronauts hoping to follow in Tim’s footsteps were able to hear him speak about his experiences in orbit and quiz the spaceman on what life is really like on board a space station.

Tim returned from the six month long Principia mission in June this year. During the mission Tim carried out a spacewalk and ran the London Marathon in space. His mission has inspired thousands of British schoolchildren to learn more about space – the small boy and his class grew some “space seeds” at school which had been sent from the International Space Station, and for several months we keenly followed Tim’s adventures in space.

As you can imagine, the room was filled with school children excited to see their astro-hero, the interviewers did a fine job of asking him about his adventures in space, illustrated for the most part by photographs which Tim had taken.

Tim Peake

After the fascinating interview (which was live streamed if you want to watch it for yourself) the audience of children were given the chance to ask Tim questions. There were some really good questions, but the one about space toilets really stuck with me. Apparently 90% of the urine is recycled into drinking water, with the remaining 10% being bagged up and disposed of in the trash.

Tim Peake

As an adult I was incredibly excited to be in the same room as Tim Peake, but the small boy, who is just 5 years old has now met someone who is a real hero. He will remember this day for the rest of his life, and I hope he will be inspired, if not to go into space, but at least shoot for the stars. As Tim says, there’s no direct route to being an astronaut, but working hard and having fun are a big part of the journey.

The small boy had managed to bag himself a front row seat for this audience with British Astronaut Tim. You can watch a short video of our morning below –

Tim Peake’s appearance in Manchester was part of a seven-date UK tour organised by the UK Space Agency and the European Space Agency and was the trailblazer event for the Manchester Science Festival 2016.

Manchester Science Festival 2016 marks the end of the city’s year-long role as European City of Science, and runs throughout half-term from Monday 20 October – Sunday 30 October.

You can read my preview of the Manchester Science Festival here.

Tim Peake

For more information and full event listings for the Manchester Science Festival 2016 visit their website.

Creative Kids – Trying Out The BIC Drawy Book

I like to think of us as a family in touch with our creative side. We often spend an afternoon painting, drawing or crafting together and I’ve always encouraged a love of creative pursuits in the small boy. We were sent the new BIC Drawy Book to test out and it unleashed a new and exciting creative adventure for the boy and me.

All three of us had spent the week snuffling, wheezing and coughing, the small boy getting the worst of it with yet another ear infection. Friday was an inset day so I decided we needed a day of rest and some gentle crafting, so out came our new bag of BIC Drawy goodies and we set to work.

BIC Drawy

We were sent a BIC Drawy Book pack to play with, it contained a special colouring in book and a set of felt tips. The book is linked to the app, so you scan in the page to unlock a virtual experience. It is priced at £9.99 and you get the drawing and activity book , a packet of good quality BIC felt tips and access to the App. We didn’t get as far as trying that out, but what we did do left the small boy in wide-eyed awe.

First off, I should have read the instructions before we unpacked everything. I needed to download a free app (available from the Apple Store and Google Play) which did take a few minutes. Once the app was downloaded we opened it and followed the easy instructions.

BIC Drawy

We created a profile for the small boy and turned the volume up. There is only one story available at the moment, ‘Marty and the Alien’ which is suitable for ages 5+ and suited us down to the ground. There were three difficulty settings, but we chose the easy option to begin with.

The story opens with the engaging tale of Marty, a boy who wants to go into space, an alien lands in his garden and before you know it he’s in a rocket and zooming off to Planet X. Along the way the app has various activities which you need to complete, they’re all explained and my 5 year old soon got the idea and wanted to do them without my help. 

Throughout the story the app pauses and asks you to draw certain objects, photograph them with your tablet or phone and then it uses the images you’ve drawn in an animation. You can add stickers and embellishments to your drawings too.

BIC Drawy

They suggest that you draw the outline of your picture in black felt tip on white paper and then colour it in as you wish. The small boy could hardly contain himself as he saw the rocket he’d just drawn fly through space dodging asteroids and space debris, and he virtually rolled around laughing when the alien ate the cheese he’d drawn and did a cheeky burp afterwards. He was genuinely upset when we’d finished the story and we had to do it all over again from the start.

Despite being skeptical at first – I had to draw the first drawing for him and show him how it worked – he loved this BIC Drawy Book set. I loved it too, it was very well thought out, the story was engaging and it’s a great way to encourage creativity in kids. It can often be a little bit more difficult to encourage boys in particular to pick up a pen and get creative, but once he understood how it worked there was no stopping him.

I feel like we’ve only touched the surface of BIC Drawy and the app, there are several more levels of Marty and the Alien to explore, and we’ve not even really looked at the accompanying book yet. There’s a good deal of learning to be had from this too, for those interested in space there’s a part of the app where you can find out more about the planets in our solar system and there’s a quiz to test your space knowledge. On top of that it also develops their fine motor skills, concentration and creativity.

We were very impressed with BIC Drawy, we think it’s got so much potential. The boy is very happy with the existing story, but if they could develop a range of these then he’d be very happy indeed. I can’t wait for him to go to bed so I can have a go by myself – always the hallmark of a great product!

BIC Drawy

You can find out more about BIC Drawy by visiting their website.

Note: We were sent the BIC Drawy Book for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Miles Kelly – Learning All About Space

We recently re-decorated the small boy’s bedroom so it resembled a starry night sky. The idea was to gradually add things to it, rockets and astronauts, planets and such like. The small boy loved it and was really keen to find out more about space, he loved looking up at the night sky at the moon and the stars, so with the help of Miles Kelly Publishing we’ve been learning more about space.

Miles Kelly are an independent children’s book publishers based in Essex, founded in 1996 they have published over 400 titles and their books are available all over the world. 

We were sent two of the Miles Kelly space books – The Sticker Playbook Spaceship and the Convertible Spaceship to read and play with.

miles kelly space

The Sticker Playbook Spaceship is a double sided fold out book which is aimed at toddlers. It includes an illustrated short story about a rocket journey into space, as well as learning activities and 50 reusable vinyl stickers.

The fold out book is double sided, with one side telling the story of the space mission and the other side being for the stickers and activities, such as learning about colours and shapes. The playbook is beautifully illustrated, with depictions of the planets which you can recognise as well as funny aliens and spaceships. It’s a fun book, rooted in facts but with an interesting and enjoyable story too. Also it has stickers, any book with stickers is always a winner.

The Convertible Spaceship is perhaps one of the most awesome things the small boy has ever been given. It is essentially the same story and illustrations as the sticker playbook (above) but instead of the other side being activities, the other side is a space rocket design. Following the easy instructions you can quickly convert it from a book into a space rocket which you can sit in!

miles kelly space

Aimed at children aged 3-6 years, this is a fantastic thing full stop (the full price is currently £17.99, but it’s sometimes on special offer). As you can see from the pictures the boy loved it, in fact he filled his rocket with everything he’d need for the afternoon, drinks, snacks, an ipad and a blanket and he just stayed in there playing, occasionally we’d hear a “blast off” countdown and noise, but I don’t think he could be happier.

The story part of the space rocket is on the inside, so while he was in there he was pointing at the pictures and talking about what he could see, as well as spelling out some of the letters and words. It’s the kind of thing which would make a fantastic present, and I know Miles Kelly have a whole range of these convertible books, including fire engines, pirate ships and trains.

We really loved these gorgeous Miles Kelly space books – the boy learned a thing or two, but more importantly enjoyed playing with them and it gave his imagination a workout, which is always good. We are very impressed and we’d recommend these great books, especially the convertible space rocket – what’s not to love?

miles kelly space

Note: We were sent these Miles Kelly Space books free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.