This month, you're invited to travel through our solar system and beyond, to galaxies far, far away.
Inspired by a request from my aunt, who uses these calendars all the time with my cousin's son, this month's theme is based on Star Wars - and the worlds, droids, and spacecrafts featured in the films! I loved the Star Wars movies growing up, but more than that, I loved watching them with our extended family during marathon weekends with movie snacks. We loved talking like Yoda, trying to do Princess Leia hair, and battling with light sabers. Later, as a science educator, I found that these movies are GREAT for thinking about how animals adapt to their environments and how humanoid creatures innovate to solve problems created by harsh surroundings. Kids are fascinated by space (and so are many adults!) - we wonder why the Moon seems to follow us or why the Sun looks bigger than the Moon when it is further away. We may tell stories about the stars and find it fascinating that people used to navigate ships using them. We feel offended (or not) when we learn a planet's status has changed to planetoid. We struggle to grasp just how HUGE the universe is and how tiny we are in comparison.
Through the activities this month, kiddos will get to design and redesign creations, think about how animals could adapt to live on different planets, think about resources on different planets, and more! The original movies came out when we didn't have such advanced computer animation abilities. I was excited to suggest making an ice planet (Hoth) using baking soda and water, I was even more excited when I learned that this is actually how scenes on Hoth were filmed! While some scenes were filmed in Norway, others were filmed using miniatures and baking soda snow!!! We are doing the work of filmmakers and story tellers when we engage in the small world play you're invited to try this month! So, here's what you'll see this month:
Into Outer Space: Start off by exploring the facts about our solar system. Look at the stars and wonder about them. Compare the size of the Sun to the Earth. Then, start to explore the stories we tell about our galaxy and beyond by exploring stories about constellations and designing your own.
To a Galaxy Far, Far Away: Transition to looking at the fictional worlds, tales, and creatures of Star Wars. Gather your own Star Wars toys, create your own, or invent a new stellar traveler using rocks or toilet paper tubes. The small toys you gather and create on this day will get to adventure from world to world throughout the rest of the month!
Star Worlds: Throughout the rest of the month, you'll get to make different small world trays inspired by the worlds of Star Wars. These trays can become home to animals, droids, etc.
Droid Friends: Use loose parts and play with gravity to create droids that balance and roll however you can imagine! Take a look at droids online or in books and maybe watch a clip of how the droids act. Once you've created and played with droids, you'll make droid trading cards to describe your droid friends.
Across the Galaxy: You can't just walk from planet to planet! On "Across the Galaxy" days, you'll get to design, tinker, redesign, trash, and recreate starships, pod racers, hover crafts and more so your small toys and droids can get from planet to planet safely! You'll also discuss what planet you'd most like to travel to. End the month with a scavenger hunt throw the small worlds, across the galaxy, to find a surprise together!
Download your calendar here!
It's been a while since I've seen the original Star Wars movies and I'm not caught up on all the new ones, so planning this month was a bit of a stretch for me, but an awesome stretch! I cannot wait to explore our galaxy and imagined galaxies this month at home and I cannot wait to see what you all create!
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