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Soaring In Space With Slumberkins

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Join us as we head into the unknown to learn self-confidence, communication skills & resilience.

A nugget comfort couch built to look like a rocket ship with Slumberkins Space Adventure Kit inside. All in front of diverse and inclusive space books for kids.

Who's ready for a summertime adventure? Grab your kids, their Slumberkins buddies, your booster pack, space helmet, & your imagination because we are off to explore beyond the edges of our world into a universe unknown.


Woah, I know, that seems daunting, right? A summer in space with Slumberkins? That sounds super! But having to come up with activities and crafts and themed snacks and books for story times that are Pinstagram (Pinterest/Instagram) perfect? WHO HAS THE TIME/ENERGY? Don't worry folks. We have got you covered. Below we are sharing our MOSS Kids mini camp filled with space-related activities for you & your kids to do together this summer using materials you already have at home. You don't *have to* have the Slumberkins Adventure Set to participate, but if you want the set (which we love) -- you can use code MOSSKIDS to save 15%.

Slumberkins Space Adventure Kit
 

Now if you don't know who we are, HI WE'RE MOSS KIDS, a children's literacy 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to bring diverse and inclusive books to all kids in all communities. We currently refurbish old newspaper vending machine boxes to give them new life as Little Free Libraries. We donate diverse and inclusive books throughout our communities to local schools, daycares, and pediatric offices. We recently donated over 100 LGBTQIA+ books to kids & families at our local Pride event. We want diverse and inclusive literature to be easily accessible as we believe books are vital tools in raising kind, accepting, empathetic kids who will one day help change the world. Our dream is to create a children's free public library in our small rural town in North Carolina; to create a safe space for kids to create their own community, to be themselves and to develop a passion for reading. You can find out more about us here & follow us here on ig.


As a pediatric occupational therapist who currently homeschools her 3 littles, I spend most of my days reading & crafting with my kids. Working on their developmental skills through book-related activities. With that being said, each of the activities listed below aims to work on developmental skills necessary for kids to exceed in their activities of daily living. Modifications will be provided for varying developmental levels. Our MOSS Kids into Space adventure will have (1) craft activities focusing on fine motor skills, bilateral coordination, visual motor and visual perceptual skills, (2) gross motor activities focusing on, you guessed it, gross motor skills, coordination, balance, vestibular input, and (3) sensory activities focusing mostly on tactile input. We've included a few extras: a diverse book list for space adventure story times and a few of our favorite space-themed snacks. We hope that by putting everything in one blog post, you will be able to take a collective *Alpaca deep breath* letting go of all your worries and actually enjoy your summer and these activities with your kids.

 

books to go with slumberkins space adventure


DIverse & inclusive space books for kids on three bookshelves.

As a children's literacy nonprofit, we aim to make access to diverse and inclusive books easier. With minimal funding, one way we can do this is by creating book lists for parents, teachers, caregivers and librarians to use when purchasing or requesting books. We know that books can be expensive so we recommend heading to your local library. Libraries are wonderful places where kids have the opportunity to soar into space without ever leaving our atmosphere. We create these book lists in hopes that you will take them to your local library and request that your library purchase them. Yes, you can request books be purchased through your local library. Usually there is a simple online form to fill out -- if you need help requesting books, just email us at hello@mosskidsbooks.com and we can bridge that gap between you and your local library. Here is a recent ig post reviewing a few books from our diverse space reads list.


And here is a full book list of our favorite diverse & inclusive space reads:

All books purchased through our affiliate links, provides MOSS Kids a small commission, in which we are able to purchase new diverse & inclusive books for underserved communities.


Below are 6 of our absolute FAVORITE space books:


Nerdy Babies Space book

Nerdy Babies: Space

We love this board book! Perfect for little baby hands & toddler enthusiasm. In Nerdy Babies: Space, we follow our intrepid infants into the great unknown. Check out the moon and the sun and all the planets in our solar system. Plus, learn about gravity and orbits in this simple text written in question and answer format. With bright, adorable artwork even our littlest space explorers will want to orbit again and again.



The Only Astronaut book

The Only Astronaut

My 5yo is space obsessed, and if I'm being honest, struggles to play well with others/make friends (pandemic kid). We adored Avni. Andrea Stegmaier's illustrations conveying blue for Avni, then orange to represent Aya's imaginative adventures was brilliant. We found ourselves cheering for Avni hoping she would find a friend and then applauding her perseverance, cooperation and adaptability. Mahak Jain perfectly depicts a child making room for themselves and still allowing space for others. My 5yo suggested asking his little brother to adventure with him later -- a win for me too! Must read!!



Space Kids book

Space Kids: An Introduction for Young Explorers

This nonfiction covers topics such as stars, planets, moons, and rockets as well as the basics of gravity and how astronauts eat and sleep in space. Space Kids moves through complex ideas with simple text and beautifully rendered illustrations that spark imagination. If your child wants to learn about space, this is the perfect introductory text.






Mae Among the Stars book

Mae Among the Stars

A beautiful picture book inspired by the life of the first Black woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison. Little Mae's curiosity, intelligence, and determination, matched with her parents' encouraging words, paved the way for her incredible success at NASA. Growing up Mae knew that she wanted to reach the stars. Despite her teacher's dismissal of her dreams, Mae (with the help of her mother) continues to follow her heart, believing in herself and working hard, and eventually ends up among the stars.






Dr Maggie's Grand Tour of the Solar System book

Dr Maggie's Grand Tour of the Solar System

This mind-blowing book invites readers to join BBC presenter and renowned space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock on an epic journey through the Solar System – visiting planets, moons, asteroids and satellites, and traveling to places where no human has been before. Along the way, kids can discover how we could live on Mars, learn about the hunt for a mysterious super-Earth, have a snowball fight on Mercury, climb the tallest mountain in the Solar System and much more. From spotting solar flares on the Sun to exploring objects at the edge of the icy Oort Cloud, this fun, action-packed title leaves no question unanswered and no meteorite unturned. Perfect for those wanting a deeper dive into the unknown.


Luz Lucero, Nina Astronauta book

Luz Lucero, Niña Astronauta

Join the first kid astronaut in space! This bilingual English-Spanish story follows Luz Lucero who has won the contest of a lifetime: to break barriers and become the first kid in space. To prepare for her legendary mission, she will taste test delicious astronaut meals, practice her spacewalk, and learn new languages. Before you know it, we will witness this stargazing girl's first blastoff into space. This is an innovative look into space travel spearheaded by young wise kid astronauts with a love of STEAM!



 

let's craft #1 -- Make your own booster packs

Slumberkins Space Adventure Set does come with an incredibly cool drawstring booster backpack but if you're like us and have multiple kids fighting over the one bag, this craft is a perfect addition for any budding space enthusiast & their siblings. However, this is more of an adult-led craft.

Two boys looking out at green yard wearing homemade booster packs.

materials:

  • Two plastic bottles; we used Smart Water bottles (perk to this is getting that high quality h2o for yourself because we all know we need to be drinking more water daily)

  • Gray/Silver spray paint

  • Target $ spot bike streamers

  • Duck tape

  • Cardboard

  • Hot glue

Materials for homemade booster packs

instructions:

  1. Drink your water. We need two empty bottles. It doesn't need to be water bottles but we preferred the look of these. You can use what you have.

  2. Remove the labels from the bottles or don't. My husband did on our first trial run but that could take a loooooot of time depending on the bottle so I didn't on our most recent one. Still looks great.

  3. Paint your bottles with silver/gray spray paint. Allow to dry. It may take longer to dry with how humid it has been (phew, this NC heat is no joke) & don't spray in direct sunlight. Spraying in the shade can help dry it faster.

  4. Once dry, glue the bottles together with hot glue.

  5. Grab your target $ spot bike streamers and hot glue. I just put a circle of hot glue around the top of the streamer insert and stuck the bottle opening down on the glue.

  6. Cut out a small rectangular piece of cardboard. This is where you will attach the straps to your bottles. Just make sure its small enough to not be seen when wearing.

  7. Make your straps with duck tape. You'll need to measure your child (or hey, even yourself, let your inner child have fun too). I would just pull the duck tape out, sticky side up around and under their shoulder to make sure you will have a good fit. I tried a few different ways to get the tape to stick together *beautifully* and honestly neither worked all that well. The best way I found was, after measuring, lay the tape down sticky side up. Measure another piece the same size and slooooooooowly place the tape on top -- sticky side to sticky side. It isn't going to be perfect, and guess what? It doesn't need to be, your kid will be so excited because it lights up that they'll never notice the straps.

  8. Staple the straps to your cardboard piece. You can staple on the top like I have pictured, or on the top but coming from the side. Every kid is different so it just depends what fits best for them. Or honestly, just wing it.

  9. Hot glue the cardboard with straps to the bottle.

  10. Turn on the streamers to create the explosives from the boosts & 5, 4, 3, 2, 1... BLAST OFF!

Cardboard with duct tape straps and two water bottles with bike streamers attached.
Two booster packs; one Slumberkins, one homemade

Other MYO space gear crafts:

Space Helmets -- grab a cardboard box, cut a hole for their face & decorate! We like the one pictured in Mae Among the Stars.

Telescope -- grab a paper towel roll or tape (with bright colored tape) together two toilet paper rolls & decorate using paint, stickers, markers. The possibilities are endless. Imagination is key.

 

let's craft #2 -- Constellations

What we see in the stars book & materials for constellation craft

Here we will be using our favorite constellation book, What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky, to help us create some constellations. One way to do this activity is to have kids draw out the constellation of their choosing using their visual motor and visual perceptual skills. This craft also works on pincer grasp to grab the sticker off of the page. You can easily modify this by drawing the constellation for them (if you are doing with toddlers/prek) and where there should be a star, draw a circle. Have the child put stickers where they see circles.

Page from What We See in the Stars Book, Lupus constellation & homemade constellation with gold star stickers

Another way to do this craft is by using mini marshmallows & toothpicks. You have been warned that marshmallows may *immediately* be consumed, so you may want to set a couple out for snacking and a couple for the activity. Again, using a picture of a chosen constellation have your child create what they see. This one is a little trickier because we are using more bilateral coordination and including spatial awareness/perception. When doing this activity, we needed a little bit of hand over hand assistance to start, but this easily is now one of our favorite activities. You can draw the constellation of their choosing out beforehand so they can use as a template. We used the template as a way to count how many marshmallows and toothpicks they would need based on how many circles and lines we drew. I love being able to incorporate numerical skills (counting/addition/subtraction/sequencing) into our activities. See below.

materials for constellation craft; mini marshmallows, toothpicks and black paper
Child putting marshmallow on toothpick to create a constellation
a child-made constellation of the big dipper with marshmallows and toothpicks

The best part of this activity is asking your kids to create their own constellations and seeing their imagination and creativity come alive. If you do this, we would love to see what your kids come up with. Please tag us on fb/ig (@mosskids/@mosskidsbooks) and use #mosskidsinspace

 

Let's Craft #3 -- Rocket name/word building

This is one of my favorite crafts and we use it every year at the beginning of school. It's very simple using construction paper, scissors, glue, and a marker. This craft can also be easily modified up or down depending on developmental level and what you are working on. For my 2yo, I pre-cut everything except one square. Otherwise, we would be working on this craft all afternoon and instead of a rocket, we would just have snips and scraps. He is working on writing his own name so he completes that as well as glueing everything together. My 5yo draws his own shapes, cuts them out and completes the activity independently. We are working on fine motor skills, grasp patterns, bilateral coordination and following verbal instruction.


Instructions:

  1. If your child is completing independently, have the child draw about 1-1 1/2in squares on different colored construction paper (big enough to put a letter in it). They should have as many squares as there are letters in their name. If your child is too young or not developmentally capable, you can pre-prep steps 1-4.

  2. Draw one triangle. Roughly the same size as the squares.

  3. Draw 3 long, thin rectangles. About the length of their index finger.

  4. Cut out all shapes.

  5. Have them write the letters of their name, one on each of the squares. You can have them focus on an uppercase letter to start their name and subsequent lowercase letters. You can try hand over hand assistance if they need it. You can even have kids work on vocabulary words if they need a challenge.

  6. Pick one piece of construction paper to be the background.

  7. Begin to glue down each letter of their name, one below the next. Creating a tower. This is the body of the rocket.

  8. Glue down the triangle to the top of the tower. This is the top/nose of the rocket.

  9. Glue the rectangle pieces vertically underneath the tower. These are the flaming boosters.

  10. BLAST OFF! *Afterwards with our leftover scraps of paper, the kids asked to continue cutting and glueing. They wanted to make their own space collages. Maybe yours will to.

 

gross motor game #1 -- reach for the stars

In this game, we are working on reaching our arms above our heads and jumping up to catch a star to create a name/word/sentence. Stars with a letter/word will be hanging from streamers attached to the ceiling/door frame. See below. Have kids jump up to grab a star down. Then hop, skip, crawl, crab walk back to you with the star. Send them back to get another one doing a different gross motor skill each time. Once they have collected all the stars have them lay prone (on their bellies) to create the word/sentence. Have them practice sounding out the letter/word to you as they put it together. We are working on strengthening their bodies. We are working on vocabulary. We are learning AND having fun while we do it!

black, purple and blue streamers with yellow stars with various letters written on them hanging from doorway
child with booster pack on standing underneath doorway where purple, blue and black streamers are hanging with yellow stars and various letters written on them

*Another similar gross motor game -- Star Search Obstacle Course:

Hide the stars around the house and have the kids go through an obstacle course once they find them to bring them to their designated word/sentence building space. Use household items, pillows, blankets, soccer cones, nuggets (nugget comfort, not chicken nuggets unless you want a mess) as obstacles for them to jump on/over, climb under. Kids need movement and on these super hot, humid days, they may not be able to get outside as much as they need to. Participating in these obstacle courses can help break up the day and make their bodies work a little. We love adding in a "try to push over this wall" prompt within our obstacle courses using heavy work and their own body weight to push up against the wall getting that deep pressure proprioceptive tactile input.

 

gross motor game #2 -- Floof's portal hopscotch


Jump Into Space written in white chalk on driveway

Good ole fashioned hopscotch with a moon rock and some planet portals. Pull from your memories how to create a chalk hopscotch, we're letting our inner child rejoice with this one. On a few of the numbers, instead of making a traditional square, make a circle (#'s 1, 4, 7, & 10 worked great for us)-- THESE WILL BE OUR FRIEND FLOOF'S PORTALS. Toss your moon rock -- this could be an actual rock or a crumpled up piece of aluminum foil. Wherever your rock lands is where you hop to. The goal is to make it to the farthest portal. If you land on a square, hop to it & toss again. If you land on a portal, do the task and then toss again. Keep going until you make it to the last portal. The first portal should be BLUE and each time someone lands on it they need to do something new (like the Heart planet); stand on one leg, spin around 5x, play the rest of the game backwards, it's up to you. The second portal should be PINK and each time someone lands on it they need to show the world their favorite way to communicate (like the Communication planet); sing, dance, sign, clap, whistle, again it's up to you. The third portal should be ORANGE and each time someone lands on it they need to do something challenging (like the Challenge planet); 5 jumping jacks, run in place for 15 seconds, touch their toes 5x, again find something that hasn't yet been mastered. The fourth and final portal is GREEN and this portal will take you HOME, you did it. You made the long journey, you explored outer space.


"Now they could say

these words from their hearts...

a lesson to remember

when their next journey starts.


Wherever I go,

or end up to be,

I'll explore and discover

even more about ME."

hopscotch game written in chalk on driveaway
 

sensory station -- Target $ Spot for the win

target sensory kit
kinetic sand and space manipulatives on white tray for sensory

I'm all for Pinstagram worthy crafts & sensory activities. But this summer, I honestly don't have time for it -- AND THAT'S OKAY. So when I spotted this sensory kit in the Target $ spot for $3, I knew I would be saving myself tons of time, energy and money. Add this kit to a container; we love our LOVEVERY tray & Ikea bins for all sensory play. And that's it. My kids sat at our table for over an hour while we cooked dinner and cleaned up from the booster blasts from our earlier space missions (pillows everywhere, scraps of paper litter the floors, so much purple gooey glue all over the table *why do kids use so much?!*). Now I'll be honest, this cute play sand will probably only last a few times if put in an air tight container. Why? It's $3 and we will inevitably forget to put it away in a timely fashion. BUT DON'T FRET. Save the little tool & miniatures because you can easily create another sensory station. See below.

white beans in circle representing the moon and black beans surrounding it with space manipulatives on a white tray

I love using dry beans as a sensory bin base. Kids usually do not have a sensory aversion to it & when they *inevitably* make a mess, we can work on pincer grasp to pick them all up. Playdough can also be a fun sensory station. Working on hand strength to flatten, make a ball, squish & squeeze. If you're feeling up to it, you can make your own playdough. We did last holiday season and it was a HUGE hit. The kids loved the olfactory additive of cinnamon and nutmeg that we included. But this busy season of life, store-bought dark blue & purple playdoh for 50 cents will have to do. I'll reuse the manipulatives from the target $ spot kit & add in a few plastic stars (yes, those ones we used to stick to our ceilings). It doesn't really matter what you use: cooked spaghetti, water, sand, beans, playdough, slime. It's important for kids to get tactile experiences -- it's how we interpret the information we get from the receptors on our skin. Touch is very important for overall organization. The tactile system helps us understand important sensations such as pressure, texture, hot/cold and pain. The tactile system helps us understand the world around us and feel secure exploring our environment.

 

space snacks with slumberkins

We love a themed snack in our house and there are so many great space-themed snacks. We created the phases of the moon with oreos (a perfect opportunity to learn while you snack) & we created our own planets (just like the Slumberkins ones in Jump Into Space!) using rice cakes, peanut butter & star puffs. You can use yogurt as your base (vanilla would give you a white planet, strawberry would give you pink!), you can use mini chocolate chips, pretzel sticks, fruit. Again the possibilities are endless so allow your child to spark their creativity & ingenuity.

blue slumberkins buddy next to a planet and a plate of oreo cookies with frosting shaped as the moon phases

This one is so easy & a really fun way to introduce the phases of the moon. You can use a spoon to help carve out your moons. Pair with books like Nigel and the Moon by Antwan Eady; A Big Mooncake for Little Star by Grace Lin; What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky by Kelsey Oseid

rice cake snack with peanut butter and star puffs on a red plate with a plate stuffed animal and a slumberkins bigfoot wearing a booster pack looking on

We had so much fun coming up with our own planets -- this one was similar to Communication Planet in Jump Into Space! Remember you can use code MOSSKIDS for 15% off.


A few more snack ideas: fruit rocket kebabs; galaxy popcorn by A Magical Mess; space shaped cookie cutters are great for sandwiches, cheese, fruit, jello, rice crispy treats; you can make your constellations completely edible by using pretzel sticks instead of toothpicks. You can also take note from the heart planet in the Jump Into Space book by trying new-to-your-kids foods just like Bigfoot and his friends do. Or better yet, try astronaut food (or just freeze dried).

 

Thank you so much for joining us on our epic adventure through space with our friends from Slumberkins. If you choose to participate & share on your socials, please tag us @mosskids on Facebook, @mosskidsbooks on IG & use #mosskidsinspace we would love to see!!


did you enjoy moss kids in space?

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