Monday, June 25, 2012

Dramatic Play: Mission to Space

It's past my bedtime, but I wanted to quickly show you what I set up in our dramatic play area for space week.
About 8 and a half years ago, my sister and I made a rocket out of boxes, aluminum foil, and lots and lots and lots of packaging tape. And I finally get to share it with others! I'm proud to say it's still standing, as you can tell, with only a few repairs. Aluminum foil is so easy to repair! We used one big box for the bottom and cut out a little window, but only cut three sides. We turned the piece we almost cut out into a little control pad. (I just remembered that during my first year teaching, I actually brought in my Atari joysticks for the kids to use to control the rocket!!)
You can flip it up to close the window. For the top part, it's mainly one square box with 4 pieces of cardboard cut into triangles to make the point. I taped all the triangles together to make a point before I covered it with aluminum foil. We also cut out a window from the top part. On the inside, I taped on a picture of the Earth as seen from the moon (and made it look like a window), and wrote some destination buttons and count-down numbers right onto the cardboard.
I used some wooden dowels to make the box stronger. When putting the two boxes together, we cut a hole out of the bottom box's top flaps.
So then the top box just gets centered over the hole and taped on.
This way the kids can stand up inside the rocket!
I also have two soft astronaut helmets that my parents got me from a souvenir shop in Houston, TX. (On a side note, I have a brother who lives there and he designs robots for NASA. So I have a ton of space-related things from all my trips and my parents' trips to Houston!) But I have also made astronaut helmets out of paper chef hats and large popcorn buckets from the movie theater!
I hung up an inflatable space shuttle and astronaut among the stars. I also put up a couple posters.
I turned our little kitchen around and hung up some starry night fabric. Then I printed out pictures of the planets and other objects in our universe. Again, I did this many years ago and just keep using them over and over again.
The kids had a lot of fun playing in it today! And I have more surprises for them (and for you!) later this week. The best part about the rocket is that it collapses nicely for storage. The bottom is all connected so it just folds up.

Not bad, huh? The top box doesn't fold, but it's not that big.
So, what do you think of our rocket? (Sarah, do you remember when we made this together?)

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