Take kids on a fun, engaging journey through our solar system with this free science unit for homeschoolers. Let’s start at the beginning and learn about the Sun for Kids. In this sun solar system lesson you will find lots of fun, hands on science projects and ideas for learning about the sun, our planets, the moon, stars, astronauts, and so much more. So get ready to make learning fun for kindergartners, grade 1, grade 2, grade 3, grade 4, grade 5, and grade 6 with this sun and solar system lesson.
Sun for Kids
For the first week of our Solar System Unit we explore our Sun. In this solar system homeschool lesson we learned that the solar system includes the sun and all the planets that travel around the sun which is held in place by gravity. Gravity is an invisible force that pulls objects towards each other.
What is Astronomy?
Astronomy is the study of the universe.
Read through solar system unit vocabulary cards from these free solar system worksheets such as: universe, constellations, gravity, astronomer, and more.
We also learned about Copernicus who fist proposed that the earth actually revolved around the sun instead of the idea that everything revolved around the earth as was thought at the time. We also talked about Galileo who was an astronomer that taught us to use a telescope to study the planets and stars.
Planets for Kids
The kids were introduced the the sun, 8 planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune), over 100 moons in our solar system, the asteroid belt, and Pluto with these hands on solar system activities for kids.
Kindergarten Solar System
Then we headed outside to recreate the solar system with chalk on our driveway. This is such a simple, fun, and memorable solar system activities for 2nd grade, first grade, kindergarten, 3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade, 6th grade, and kindergartners. We drew the planets in order starting with the sun and going out. We tried to get the proportions correct by looking at a solar system for kids book.
Note: I also drew lines to show the orbit of the planets around the sun. This helped them to start to understand how planets move and helped prep us for our orbits activity for kids.
Next in our solar system 1st grade we played a game to help my students learn the names of the planets. The children had to run to the correct planet when I called it out.
This solar system for 1st graders activity really helped them understand how our planets orbit the sun by having them do this fun activity that helped them really “get it”.
The Sun Solar System
The Sun is a star, the biggest thing in our universe, and very hot – 10,000 degrees on the outside and millions of degrees on the inside. In our readings, we learned about solar flares, sun spots, and that the sun is actually all the colors of the rainbow! Did you know that the sky looks blue because it has a shorter wave that gets hits the layer of gases in our atmosphere?
Help kids understand the power of the sun and the importance of not staring at the sun with this simple experiment. For this classic experiment, kids use a magnifying glass to direct the sun’s ray to burn a hole in a leaf.
Note: This should only be done carefully with adult supervision. I recommend you take the opportunity to talk about safety.
Stonehenge and the Sun
Did you know you can tell time and seasons using our solar system? Read about historical Stonehenge. Many people believe it was used to tell when spring had arrived . This was useful for helping them know when to plant and harvest crops.
Solar Oven Science Project
The sun heats things up! We made a solar oven to harness the energy from the sun. To make this solar oven, use plastic wrap to create a greenhouse. Then use aluminum foil to reflect the sun rays back into the box. Finally, use black tape to draw and hold in the heat. We made our solar oven extra hot by adding waded up paper to insulate the bottom. Our solar oven reached 320 F.
This fun-to-make science project allows students to learn how a sundial works. A sundial can tell the time based on the position of the sun. Then the next day we used the sundial to tell the time instead of a conventional clock. Science is FUN!
To make your sundial for kids us a square Duplo board. In the middle, make a tower of blocks. Now put your Duplo sundial in a spot that gets full sun. Every hour, on the hour, you will add as square Lego piece to the clock. Write the time on the block in sharpie (or use a label sticker so it can be peeled off when the project is done). Put the Lego exactly where the shadow of the middle tower is located. continue every hour. They will observe how the shadow tells you what time it is. The following day, ask your child what time it is using the sundial!
For another fun sundial project for kids, try our human sundial for a truly memorable science project.
A solar eclipse happens when the sun gets hidden behind the moon. For a few moments during the day, you can’t see the sun. Sometimes there are up to five solar eclipses in one year. Did you know these solar eclipses can’t be seen from everywhere on earth?
To help kids understand the concept we used a inflatable earth, tennis ball, and a flashlight to recreate a solar eclipse.
Solar System Activities
Looking for more fun, hands on science activities to teach kids about astronomy or to round out your solar system for kids unit. You will love these hands on solar system activities and lessons:
- The Sun for Kids
- Moon for Kids & Astronauts Too
- Inner Planets for Kids (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars)
- Outer Planets for Kids (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune)
- Pluto, Asteroid Belt, Comets, and Stars
- Yarn Solar System
- Paint Stick Solar System Project
- Pipe Cleaner Constellations – fun hands on constellation activity for kids
- Simple Galaxy Science Project
- Looking for more fun, engaging, creative, and memorable moon projects for kids? You will love this 50 Moon Crafts & Activities for Kids collection with the best ideas from the whole internet!
- TONS of really cool Solar System Project Ideas for kids of all ages
Free Solar System Printables
Plus, don’t forget to add these free solar system worksheets and printables to your lesson plan:
- HUGE pack of Free Solar System Worksheets for elementary age kids
- Solar system worksheets for kindergarten with solar system themed math and literacy activities for preschoolers, kindergartners, and grade 1 students
- Simple Astronaut Coloring Pages
- Solar System Coloring Pages to read, learn, and color the solar system
- Printable Constellations Book for children to learn about stars and the patterns they make in the night sky
- Cootie Catcher Constellation Printable
- Free Constellation Flashcards
- Moon Phases Worksheets
- Planets Printable Book for students to learn about all the planets in our solar system
- Moon Phases Printable Mini Book for kids to learn about the phases of the moon