Paint Stick Solar System Project

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Paint Stick Solar System Project

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Help your child learn about the solar system with a paint stick.  Your child will love this out-of-this world science and art activity that will aid in learning the names and order of the planets.  This Paint Stick Solar System is a perfect hands-on learning activity for your kindergarten, 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade student.
Paint Stick Solar System Project - this is such a fun way for kids to learn about our solar system and the name of the planets (homeschool, social studies)
We love learning about the Solar System in our homeschool.  We have made an edible version, have a few books on our shelves, watched various videos about space, and have done a couple hands-on activities learning about constellations with a geoboard and paper tube constellation viewer.

Recently my 8 year old read about Neil Armstrong, so I had outer space on my mind and decided to work on the names of the planets and their order in our solar system.  To do so, we made the solar system on a paint stick!

Solar System Project


Materials need:
  • paint stick
  • various colors of paint
  • paintbrushes
  • clothespins
  • markers
Obviously, our planets are not drawn to scale.  This activity was intended to help my son memorize the names of the planets and where they are located in relation to one another.

First I brought out the book, Planets by Ellen Hasbrouck.   We read through the book and searched online to learn a few more facts:


After reading the book, we brought out our paints and paint stick to create our solar system. First paint the paint stick black.  After a few minutes, begin painting the solar system.  We started by painting the sun at the top our paint stick and then using various colors of paint, painted each of the planets down the paint stick.
  • Mercury- Orbits the sun in 88 days!
  • Venus- Although second from the sun, it is the hottest planet in our solar system.
  • Earth- Our home planet and the only one with liquid water on its surface and life.
  • Mars- Has an ever present red tint due to mineral called iron oxide on planet's surface.
  • Jupiter- Is the stormiest planet in the solar system and is also the largest.
  • Saturn-  Surrounded by a series of rings.
  • Uranus-  Orbits the sun lying on its side.
  • Neptune-  Composed of mostly gas, is the last planet in our solar system; was discovered in 1845!

Once your paint stick solar system is compete, let it dry.  In the meantime collect 8 clothespins and markers.

learn the name of the planets with this fun solar system activity for kids

On each clothespin write a name of a planet.

Once everything has dried, have your child match each of the planets by clipping the correct clothespin onto the coordinating planet on the paint stick.

 This paint stick solar system was such a neat art and science project!  Not too mention, the clothespins work on fine motor skills, which I love to try and sneak into all our learning activities.  It is a great tool to work on the names of the planets and planet order; makes for a great busy bag activity, and will look pretty cool hanging up in our school room!

Learn more in our solar system unit for kids filled with great resources, projects and lots of free printables:

Kristina once thought of going into education, but changed her mind a few years in to her degree.  Ironically, she now has her hands full as a homeschooling mother of four.  With children of various ages from infant to 7, she shares a variety of educational and play activities for babies through elementary age children on School Time Snippets.  Follow along on Facebook and Pinterest.

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