Two refrigerator boxes
Utility knife (adult only)
Black tempera paint
Small pebbles, rocks, or gravel
Silver spray paint (adult only)
Black mesh netting
Glow-in-the dark stars and planets
Beanbag chair or soft furniture
Small (child-sized) table and chair
Small magnifiers, penlights, and containers of ground sand
Books about space exploration
Construction paper and crayons
Instructions:1. Using a utility knife, cut along a seam on each of the refrigerator boxes so that they lay flat (adult only).
2. Cut out two or three small windows and one child-sized door in the sides of the boxes.
3. Encourage the children to paint both sides of the boxes completely black. Allow the boxes to dry.
4. While the boxes are drying, paint the pebbles, rocks, or gravel with silver spray paint to create moon rocks and meteorites (adult only).
5. Tape together the boxes to form one large enclosure. Ask the children to hold the boxes in place while you tape them.
6. Stand up the large enclosure, squaring it up so it stands nicely. This is the base for the space station. If the box is unsteady, tie each corner of the box to chairs (poke small holes in the box, thread strong packing twine through them, and tie it to the backs of the chairs).
7. Tape black mesh securely to the top of the box and to the door and window cutouts. This allows the inside of the enclosure to appear dark to the children while still allowing for supervision from above and through the windows.
8. Ask the children to apply glow-in-the-dark stars and planets to a wall inside the space station.