Two Solar System Craft Projects with Clay Planets

We recently started Apologia Astronomy, and I found a great project on Pinterest that we wanted to try.  Yesterday we started the project – a solar system snow globe.  I found the idea here.

Unfortunately, it did not work out exactly the way we had planned.  We used Crayola Model Magic instead of regular clay.  We had not used Model Magic before and did not realize that when it dries it is still soft and somewhat squishy and very light.  So, we had to change our plans and create a model instead.

Solar System Project

Revised Solar System Project

To make the snow globe, you need a mason jar and lid, glycerin or water, glitter, and clay to make your planets.  You’ll also need fishing line to string the planets on and something to hang them on.  First, make your planets.  I think Sculpey Clay would work well since you can buy it colored and you do not have to paint it.  It seems like paint could easily run inside the snow globe.  Also, Sculpey hardens like regular clay and is heavy.

IMG_2285

Make a small hole all the way through the center of your planets so that you can run the fishing line through them and tie a knot on the other end.  We took a plastic cup and trimmed it down until it was shorter than the mason jar lid and glued it on after I attached our sun to the center of the cup.  This way you can allow the planets to “orbit” around the sun.  The other planets were also attached to fishing line and we taped the end to the top of the mason jar. Fill the jar with glycerin or water and glitter, attach the lid with your planets, and you are done.  Everything worked beautifully for us except our planets floated.  I tried everything to weigh them down, but they would not sink.  Crayola Model Magic is very likely the stuff inside life preservers.

IMG_2282

On the up side, the Model Magic made beautiful planets.  We decided to paint a paper plate black and sprinkle glitter on it while it was still wet to create starts.  Because honestly, can you do a craft project with a nine year old girl without glitter?  Don’t even get me started on the clothes….but I digress.  Anyway, we drew on the orbits with a white oil pastel, hot glued the sun in the center and the planets onto their orbits, and we were done.

And we still have a mason jar filled with glycerin and glitter.  We just need to figure out what needs to go into the snow globe.

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