Monday 26 March 2012

Hubble inspired play

(Goblin is 29 months)
Final Release Over Earth (2009)
Recently I was looking at pictures taken by the Hubble telescope. For anyone who doesn't know about Hubble, its a giant space telescope launched in 1990. It orbits the Earth above the atmosphere. The atmosphere normally distorts and blocks some of the light that reaches Earth, so with the telescope sitting above the atmosphere it gets an incredible view of our universe. 
Infant Stars in the Small Magellanic Cloud
The pictures from the telescope are incredible. There is a whole website dedicated to them -  
I decided to attempt some Hubble inspired arts and crafts with Goblin.  I started with some Galaxy playdough. I used a recipe from Nutrurestore. I added black and blue food colouring and lots of sequins and glitter. It is incredible how much glitter and sequins you need. I added as much as I thought I'd need, then doubled it. And still the playdough seemed to swallow them up - like the darkness of space. 
Goblin liked the playdough though. He used his rollers and cutters on it. And mashed it about with his hands. He made me a "birthday cake" with some crayons as candles.
And because Goblin likes to use his entire body to experience things, he walked on it too and then invited me to do the same. I'm glad I tried it, it felt great. It was cold and squidgy and a really unusual sensation.
 After a few days of play Goblin asked to play with it outside. I would have resisted this with bought playdough but because it was home made I felt much more relaxed about how Goblin played with it. So he took it outside and we played catch with it. Then he rolled it around in the dirt and grass. And when he was finished (and it was pretty disgusting) I popped it in the bin. 
We also tried to recreate some of the beautiful Hubble photos of nebulas, stars, galaxies and the universe. I mixed some glitter and flour in a bowl and gave it to Goblin to sprinkle on paper that I had covered with glue.
Then he used glitter paint and regular paint to add colours. I tried to get Goblin to use a toothbrush to flick some colour into the paper - to make tiny stars, but it was too tricky for him to master. So I helped. But I lik ethe purple panting the best which is the one he did all by himself. It is very Hubble-esque.
These activities are great for young toddlers like Goblin, but they would also make a nice light extension to a solar system or space unit for older home schoolers. There is some great information on Hubble at And every child should have a look at the Hubble picture gallery.
Cone Nebula (NGC 2264): Star-Forming Pillar of Gas and Dust

I'm sharing this on
Montessori Monday No Time For Flash Cardsabc buttonTeach Me Tuesday at Preschool Powol PacketsTuesday Tots


  1. I love your hubble inspired play! And those photos are incredible aren't they. Next time I make playdoh we will have to try walking on it too! We have been talking about going to see the observatory and I think this has inspired me to make it sooner rather than later :-)

    1. I'd love to take Goblin to an observatory, thats a brilliant idea.

  2. This is my kind of learning! Fun stuff. Call me a geek but I jumped for joy when I saw the link. Thank you for sharing.

  3. We just started our space unit, and these are some more wonderful ideas to think about! The pictures are just amazing! Thanks for sharing! Have a great week!

    Mama Of Many Blessings

  4. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing with Tuesday Tots! I have pinned this to the Tuesday Tot board :)

  5. This is fantastic! I had never heard of Hubble, thanks for sharing! Thanks for linking up to the Kids Co-op!

  6. I've always loved Hubble, and these are such wonderful ways to use it! Thanks so much for sharing at Teach Me Tuesday!! I love reading your posts--you always have such great ideas!


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