Space Facts for Kids

Updated on January 11, 2018
ThePracticalMommy profile image

Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and owner of Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

Outer Space Information for Kids

"Mom, why does the moon follow us wherever we go?"

"Dad, how big is the sun? How does it make light?"

Have you ever been asked these questions by your kids? Did you know how to answer? Explaining the concept of space, planets, stars, and the universe to young children can be challenging.

Here you are going to find some fun facts about space to share with your kids, along with some fun activities and songs to help them learn about outer space.

What's out there beyond the moon?
What's out there beyond the moon? | Source

Facts about Space That Kids Will Love

Close to Home:

  • The moon orbits the earth. It seems to glow because the sun's rays are reflecting off of its surface. It seems to 'follow' us as we move and travel because we are moving a very small distance on Earth under a very large sky where the Moon makes its appearance.
  • The Earth is a planet, which is a body in space that orbits the sun and takes up a great amount of space. It takes the Earth 365 days to make a complete orbit around the sun. The Earth also rotates on an invisible axis. Every rotation takes 24 hours to complete. The rotations cause us to have day and night depending on what side of the Earth is facing the Sun.
  • There are eight planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. Pluto was once considered a planet, but in 2006 it was decided that Pluto wasn't large enough to still be considered a planet like the others. It is now called a 'dwarf planet', just meaning that it is smaller than the others.
  • Our Sun, even though it seems quite large to us, is actually considered to be a medium sized star! That means there are suns and stars out there that are much larger. The light it produces is from the burning gases that make up the Sun, just like the other stars and suns out there. We benefit from the light and the heat it produces because the Earth is relatively close to the Sun.
  • The Sun is approximately 100 times larger than the Earth in width, but it is 1,300,000 times the size of the Earth in volume! To put it in perspective, it's like comparing a golf ball to the giant balls people bounce on during the show Wipe Out.
  • The high and low tides on Earth are caused by the gravitational pulls of the Sun and the Moon.
  • The first time anything made by humans touched outer space was in 1957 when Russia launched its first satellite Sputnik.
  • The first time a human touched the Moon was in 1969 when Neil Armstrong walked on the Moon. His footprints, and those of other astronauts, will be there forever because there is no wind on the Moon. The only way they can be wiped away is by another space body hitting the surface of the moon.

Planets in Our Solar System

Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune
Planets: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune | Source

Famous Quote from the Lunar Landing

Neil Armstrong, when he became the first person to set foot on the Moon, said:

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."

The Planets and Their Distance from the Sun

Planet
Distance from the Sun
Mercury
36 million miles
Venus
67.2 million miles
Earth
93 million miles
Mars
141.6 million miles
Jupiter
483.6 million miles
Saturn
886.7 million miles
Uranus
1,784 million miles
Neptune
2794.4 million miles

Order of the Planets

Remember the order of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune with this mnemonic device!
Remember the order of the planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune with this mnemonic device! | Source

Learn About the Solar System

The Solar System:

  • Our Solar System is nearly 5 billion years old! We believe it is 4.6 billion years old.
  • Our Solar System started as a cloud of space dust and gas.
  • The Solar System is more than just planets and moons. There is one sun, eight planets, several dwarf planets, 166 moons (that we know of), and hundreds to thousands of asteroids, comets, dust, and gas!
  • Comets are moving bodies of rock and ice that orbit the Sun and pass through the inner Solar System--by the planets--every hundred years or every few thousand years. These bodies seem to have a tail due to the dust that trails the comet, which is then lit up when it nears the Sun. One of the most well-known comets is Halley's Comet, which is visible to us every 75 or so years.

Song about the Solar System

Tips for Parents

Want to make learning about space exciting for you kids? Get excited about it yourself! Anytime you show enthusiasm about a topic, your kids will want to know more.

Bring up cool facts about space anytime they show interest. Talk about new findings about space that you heard on the news. Find videos with great graphics to display and discuss.

If you make learning fun, they will always want to learn more.

More Fun Facts about Outer Space

Beyond the Solar System:

  • Space is a physical 'something'. Just like a boat displaces water and the water curves around the boat, planets, stars, etc. displace space, and space curves around it. The Universe is made up of space and the bodies--planets, moons, stars, suns, asteroids, comets, dust and gas--within Space.
  • People used to believe that Earth was the center of the Universe. Boy, were they wrong! Earth isn't even the center of our Solar System! We are a relatively small planet in a solar system, which is part of a spiral shaped galaxy named the Milky Way.
  • A galaxy is a collection of solar systems, which include planets, moons, asteroids, and comets that circle around a star. There are billions of galaxies within Space. Each galaxy can have billions of stars. The Milky Way is just one in billions!
  • Galaxies are held together with gravity that pulls on each sun, star, planet, moon, etc.
  • Stars are made of dust and gas. They come in many different colors, but on Earth we can't see the colors. It takes hundreds, thousands or millions of years for light from stars to reach the Earth.
  • As stars lose energy, they lose small parts of themselves or they explode. These parts then form new stars as they gather together and gain energy. It's the stars' way of recycling!

Solar Systems Information

Facts about Aliens for Kids

Aliens: how do you explain them to kids? Do you explain the concept of them to kids?

It's kind of a tough call, and it depends on what you believe. Just keep in mind that if you do, the concept of strangers from outer space may be scary to some kids. Keep things simple and in perspective of their mindset (i.e. when someone comes to our country from another country, they are considered an 'alien'). There's no need to talk about the scary aspects of aliens adults imagine for the movies.

If you'd like to try, here are a few facts about aliens for kids:

  • The word 'alien' simply means stranger. It comes from Latin and means 'strange' or 'foreign'. It wasn't used in reference to outer space until the 1950s.
  • Even though many people have claimed to see them, we have no idea what aliens really look like! For all we know, they could look like us. They are usually imagined as little green beings with large heads and large eyes, but there is no evidence to support this.
  • If aliens do exist, they are probably just as curious about our planet as we are about the Universe. And guess what? We'd be the aliens to them since we come from a different world.

Space Activities for Kids

  • Spacewalk Scavenger Hunt: Give kids a list of space related items for them to find, like a moon rock, space dust or even an alien. Here's the fun part: they need to use their imaginations to find these items! A moon rock could be a cool looking grey rock they find outside. An alien could be a funny looking toy. A ring from Saturn could be a Hula Hoop. The sky is the limit! This game can be played both indoors and outdoors. When everyone is don finding their collections, discuss how they relate to space.
  • Lost in Space: Al the Astronaut is lost in space and you need to find him! Give clues to kids about which planet Al might be on and have them guess. Example: Al says that he is in the middle of stormy 'weather' on this largest planet in the solar system. Where is he? (Jupiter)
  • Pin the Planet in the Solar System: Just like Pin the Tail on the Donkey, this game requires that kids know the basic orbiting positions of the planets in relation to the sun. On a large piece of poster board, draw the sun and orbits around the sun (no need to be accurate for this; kids will be deciding the order of the planets). The sun can be textured so that the kids have a starting point. Create the planets using colored pieces of cardstock or another type of sturdy paper. Use tape on the backs of the planets to hold them in place on the poster. To play: blindfold kids and hand them a planet, telling them which one it is. Give them a spin or two and then lead them to the poster board. They can use the sun as a reference an choose where their planet should be in orbit. When everyone has taken a turn, decide together if the planets are in the right orbits. If not, make the corrections.
  • Star Gazing: Get a blanket and head outdoors on a clear night. If you have a telescope, that's a bonus, but not needed. Make note of some of the brightest stars and any constellations you see. Try to spot a 'shooting star'. Ahead of time, you can find out when the Space Station is going to pass overhead (our news station lets us know when the Space Station passes overhead).

Visit NASA

If you're located near NASA in Houston or another location, go for a tour of the facilities. You can see artifacts from historic space missions or possibly even current astronauts training for a mission. If you visit the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, you might be able to witness a rocket launch or shuttle landing. How cool would that be for your kids?

For more information, visit: Visiting NASA .

NASA in the United States

A
NASA Space Center in Houston, TX:
Space Center Houston, 1601 Nasa Pkwy, Houston, TX 77058, USA

get directions

B
NASA in Washington, D.C.:
NASA, 300 E St SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

get directions

C
NASA Shuttle Landing Facility:
Nasa Shuttle Landing Facility (TTS), Kennedy Pkwy N, Space Center, FL, USA

get directions

D
NASA in CA:
Nasa, Fort Irwin, CA 92310, USA

get directions

Teaching Kids about Space

The greatest thing about learning about space is that there is so much cool information out there, plus we're always learning something new since it's such a vast topic. Even for scientists, it's a never-ending learning adventure!

It can be challenging, but if you keep it simple, keep it in perspective, and make it fun, learning about space will be an out of this world experience for your kids!

©ThePracticalMommy


Questions & Answers

  • How was our solar system made?

    One theory is that our solar system was once a solar nebula full of dust and gas. Over millions of years, gravity compressed and spun the dust and gas, forming the solar system as we know it. If you need more information, I suggest searching on Google.

  • Is it a good idea to send people into space?

    I guess it depends on why you're sending them to space. To collect data for scientific purposes, yes.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Skylar 

      18 months ago

      The mnemonic thing won't work because you forgot Saturn.

    • Rachel L Alba profile image

      Rachel L Alba 

      3 years ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

      How interesting. I love to read about space and the solar system. I loved the video of a star forming. Thanks for all the work.

    • profile image

      coolgirl 

      5 years ago

      i love the solar system song

    • profile image

      kate567 

      5 years ago

      I think space stuff is good

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      JoanCA and joanwz, glad you liked the hub! I didn't think of using Lost in Space with other subjects. Great thinking!

    • joanwz profile image

      Joan Whetzel 

      5 years ago from Katy, Texas

      Great fact sheet for kids. Answers all the major questions they love to ask.

    • JoanCA profile image

      JoanCA 

      5 years ago

      Excellent hub! I love the activity suggestions, especially Lost in Space. That's an activity that could be used with other subjects as well. Voted up!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      iguidenetwork , glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • iguidenetwork profile image

      iguidenetwork 

      5 years ago from Austin, TX

      Very fun facts and ideas! Plus these activities will bond the parents and their children more. This is really nice. :)

      Up, useful and a following.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      MItch, thanks for the suggestions. I wasn't really discussing the volume of the Earth and Sun since the hub is geared toward younger kids, but I may add that in. I also see what you mean about the galaxies; I'll have to edit a bit there to be more clear. Thanks for reading!

    • Mitch Alan profile image

      Mitch Alan 

      5 years ago from South Jersey

      Very Cool Hub. But, two things you may want to edit. First, the Sun is actually 1,300,000 times the size of the earth in volume. While it is about 100-110 time the width, the overall size is 1,300,000 times. Secondly, where you are talking about galaxies I you mention that they are planets, moons etc. around a star. I believe you meant to say solar system and that there are billions of solar systems in the galaxy and billions of galaxies in the universe. Keep Hubbing!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      poornimasrinath, I'm glad your son enjoyed the song! Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

    • poornimasrinath profile image

      poornimasrinath 

      5 years ago from Midrand, Johannesburg, RSA

      Very informative. My son loved reading and listening to the song! Kudos

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      5 years ago from United States

      Tim, thanks for stopping by. Glad you liked it!

    • profile image

      TIM 

      5 years ago

      AWESOME WEBSIT.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      cheetah786, glad you liked it. Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • cheetah786 profile image

      cheetah786 

      6 years ago

      this hub is great. it really refreshed my previous knowledge..

      very interesting and excellent hub..!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      teaches12345, thank you very much! :D

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      This is really good! You have made a scientific adventure out of this for kids of all ages. I love your design and how you made it all relevant to kid's interest. Voted up!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      LauraGSpeaks, perhaps I will! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • LauraGSpeaks profile image

      LauraGSpeaks 

      6 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      I love the ideas for space activities for kids. They sound fun and educational. Hey- maybe you could write a hub on a space themed birthday party.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      GrantN.Z, I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading!

    • Grant N.Z profile image

      Grant N.Z 

      6 years ago from New Zealand

      What a cool Mum. That was a fantastic hub. I enjoyed evey word. Cheers Grant

    • ThePracticalMommy profile imageAUTHOR

      Marissa 

      6 years ago from United States

      chrissieklinger, thanks for the laugh! I can only imagine nutritionists trying to fix the acronym to something like: My Very Excellent Mom Judiciously Served Us Nutella... Lol!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! :D

    • chrissieklinger profile image

      chrissieklinger 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Great, ACCURATE, info. Moms in the millennium serve nachos now instead of nine pizzas. Soon the nutritionists will get on that and we will have to change that acronym to something healthy.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wehavekids.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wehavekids.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)