“Mom, why does Saturn have rings”?
Preschoolers are naturally curious and ask a lot of questions!
Use your child’s questions as learning opportunities to extend your child’s knowledge and help foster creative thinking and problem-solving skills.
STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) activities help develop innovative thinkers and integrate active learning so that your child can learn how to problem solve and answer their own questions. Use your child’s questions as a starting point to incorporate STEAM learning activities or science activities for preschoolers at home or in the classroom.
Thinking like a scientist or artist is making new discoveries by asking questions.
So, why does Saturn have rings?
Often times when we are reading books, I encourage my two young learners to ask questions as we are reading.
I was reading a book about planets when Lil B (5) asked his question, “Why does Saturn have rings”?
I assume at one time I did learn in school why Saturn has rings but when my 5 year old asked me, I could not remember the reason why.
Luckily, living in our technology age….. we can easily find the answer. After searching on Google, we found this article describing Saturn’s rings from the NASA website.
Ahh, yes…. now I remember….
Saturn’s rings are made of ice and rock that circle (or orbit) around the planet.
Since preschoolers learn best with hands on activities, I created a simple way to demonstrate Saturn and it’s spinning rocks (or rings).
Exploring or investigating your child’s questions helps foster creativity and keeps your child engaged in the activity.
Science activities at home do not require a lot of fancy materials and supplies.
Using glue, dirt, and a spin machine we were able re-create the effect of Saturn and its rings.
If you don’t have a spin art machine, an old record player or even a salad spinner could also work. (Let me know if you try the salad spinner…in theory it should work but I haven’t tried it myself).
Read below for the whole tutorial.
SAVE YOUR SANITY PARENT TIP: This project does require wait time while the glue is drying. I highly recommend not showing your child the spinning machine until after the glue has dried. This one tip will save you from hearing, “Is the glue dry yet?”…a gazillon times …. trust me on this!
Sand or Dirt
Garage Sale Price Sticker or Office Supply Sticker
Spinning Device (We used our Spin Art Machine)
Step 1: Place your circle dot in the center of your paper.
Step 2: Creative various size glue drops in a circle pattern around the sticker (your Saturn).
Step 3: Add a scoop of dirt or sand onto the glue. Gentely shake off the extra dirt and let dry.
CLEAN UP TIP: Shake the paper over a shallow box or tray to collect the loose pieces of dirt and sand.
Step 4: Once the glue has completely dried, now bring out your spinning device. Secure your paper to the spinning machine.
Have your child observe what the paper looks like before spinning.
Step 5: Spin the paper. Observe what happens to the glue dots that represent the particles of ice and rock.
Prompt your child’s creative thinking with open-ended questions.
How does the sand and dirt look different while spinning?
What happens to the glue/dirt when you speed up the spinning?
What happens when you slow down?
How does the ring look different with bigger or smaller glue/dirt dots?
Check out our Creative Preschool Friends for more Space themed learning activities.
Outer Space Discovery Bottle | Artsy Momma
Marbled Planets Art| I Heart Crafty Things
Pie Plate Solar System | Pink Stripey Socks
Puffy Paint Solar System Window Art| School Time Snippets
| A Little Pinch of Perfect
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