Discovery Time: Space Explorers

Join us for Discovery Time! Enjoy hands-on activities that introduce STEAM concepts that are just right for preschoolers.

STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, art and math. Your child’s creativity, curiosity and persistence make them natural scientists. Science and art encourage your child to explore and investigate their world by observing and experimenting. Early math and reading skills often overlap, too.

The desire to read is an important factor in your child becoming a skilled reader. If your child is interested in a particular topic, read books that focus on that topic. You can apply their interests to early learning activities as well. The Name Rocket is a fun letter recognition activity for a space obsessed preschooler.

Supplies:
  • Black construction paper
  • Rocket template
  • Crayons or markers
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
Procedure:
  1. Count out the squares you need to spell your name. Write one letter of your name on each square.
  2. Trace or cut out the nose cone and flames from the template. Cut them out and glue the nose cone to the top of your paper.
  3. Make the body of the rocket using your name. Glue the first letter of your name just under the nose cone. Then glue the rest of the letters underneath it.
  4. Add the flames after the last letter of your name.

This activity helps your child practice letter recognition, which is the ability to name each letter of the alphabet and match it with its written form. Letter recognition helps your child to figure out how printed text is associated with the spoken language. While you build the rocket, point to each letter in your child’s name and ask them to tell you what the letter is. You can lightly write each letter of their name in pencil so that your child can trace over them.

As you go through your day, point out the letters in your child’s name as you see them, such as at the grocery store, on street signs, or in a book you are reading together. Doing activities like this one, where your child is picking up small things and putting them in a specific order improves their coordination and it hones their fine motor skills. Doing an art activity together is a great bonding activity. You can talk together about what your child is creating. Ask them questions like “I see you picked blue squares for your rocket. Why did you pick blue?” Conversation is a great way to expand your child’s vocabulary.

Additional Learning

Check out these books and a STEAM Kit from Plano Public Library to learn more about space!

Touch the Brightest Star by Christie Matheson
I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton
First Big Book of Space by Catherine D. Hughes
Planets by Elizabeth Carney
Preschool STEAM Kit: Space

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