A Reggio Exploration of Space

I mentioned before that Silas has begun an investigation of space. I thought I'd do just a quick recap of some of what he's been up to in addition to reading lots and lots of books (because there are always lots and lots of books).

There have been galaxies made out of loose parts on the light table.

He and daddy took a rare after-dinner trip out of the house to go to the public viewing night at our local observatory. It was a very cold night, but he got to see Jupiter, which he said was blue.

I set up this invitation for him and it was a big hit. I made a translucent sand tray out of a picture frame, filled it with black aquarium sand and included some space miniatures and planet rocks that I painted for him. All was set up on the light table, with a galaxy print out as a back drop. 

He got the most enjoyment out of burying everything in the sand. 

Later that week in a hectic moment when he very much needed something to keep him occupied, I handed him the galaxy printout and some metallic markers and he drew in planets and characters from the "Planetron" books he was reading at the time (and which he loved): Adventures in the Solar System and Adventures Beyond the Solar System, both by Williams.

There was also some play with galaxy dough and a variety of loose parts. The space miniatures and planet rocks made a repeat appearance and were joined by some star cookie cutters, gemstones, sequins, acrylic discs, and small mirrors.

For the galaxy dough I used our regular play dough recipe, but added black food coloring and paint. I wanted it to be a really rich black color and all the tutorials I found online used black gel food coloring, so that's what I used. But, even with a full tube, it was definitely more of a purple than black. I threw in quite a bit of black tempera paint as well to deepen the color and it still ended up more of a really dark gray. Then I tossed in a half a tube of silver and a half tube of gold glitter and called it good.

I don't know if it was the added paint, but my dough was really quite sticky. I kept adding flour (I stopped counting after the third cup) until it was more workable. It was already a double batch, so the result was just an enormous amount of dough. We've broken it out several times since then to play.

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