There are loads of great space activities for kids – I’ve even shared a couple others on this blog. This one is my especial favorite because of the hours of imaginative play it inspired.
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DIY Cardboard Space Shuttle
I love playing with cardboard, and this space shuttle is one of our fanciest creations! I created it as part of The Lights Project at ikat bag, but wanted to share it with my readers here as well (with LiEr’s blessing!)
LiEr sent me a string of ten LED lights from IKEA, which happened to be flat on top. This makes them perfect for push buttons! My kids are very into space at the moment, and Johnny had just gotten a pair of space-themed pajamas for his birthday. My brother conveniently gave me three very large cardboard boxes, one of which looked distinctly spaceship-like to me.
I cut away, punched some holes for the lights to go through, taped the switch to the inside of the box, and we were good to go! All three kids conveniently fit into this large box! Time to admire the universe!
I suspect that the IKEA lights are seasonal, but you could do this with any string of LED lights. Time to pull out your Christmas boxes!
One of the best things about cardboard creations – besides the fact that you get to make them and they are free – is that they are super easy for kids to decorate. Our space shuttle gets a little bit fancier (and a little more bent out of shape loved) every day!
Want to build your own space shuttle? I wrote an illustrated cardboard space shuttle tutorial you can download!
More Cardboard Creations
You can check out more LED light creations in The Lights Project archives from last December at ikat bag. And if you want some non-LED light inspiration, here are a few more cardboard creations from this blog. One of them is even a space activity!
- Play laptop made from cardboard
- Cardboard washer/dryer
- Cardboard astronaut helmet
- Simple cardboard play house
- Cardboard armoire for doll clothes
- Simple cardboard peg doll house
- Cardboard play fridge
- No-sew fabric-covered box
- Car seat for a small doll from a cardboard salt container
Another Great Space Book for Kids
Endeavour’s Long Journey is an imagination-filled picture book I was sent to review. Written by NASA Astronaut John D. Olivas, this book follows a young boy visiting the Endeavour in the California Science Center, where he has a conversation with the space shuttle. Among other stories, the Endeavour tells the boy about Dr. Mae Jemison, the first female African American astronaut, as a special team on Endeavour. The book captures beautifully the imagination and creativity that is necessary for scientific innovation – and that I see in my scientist husband – but that is rarely portrayed in picture books. I also love the book’s emphasis on dreaming, working hard, and how we need lots of different people with different abilities to succeed.
Mike got to see the Endeavour leave on its long journey, and a friend of mine got to be an official Endeavour babysitter when it first moved to Southern California, which was very exciting!
More Great Space Activities for Kids
- Paper space shuttle
- Paper mache moon nightlight
- What do you see in the moon creative activity for kids (includes a free printable, no email sign-up required)
- Edible Mars soil space experiment
- Printable constellation mats for kids
- Cardboard astronaut helmet
- Shooting star spinner toy
- Solar system sensory bottle
- DIY Star Stamps
Click here to see all of the themes, books, and activities for this year’s 2016-17 Virtual Book Club for Kids!
More Space Activities for Kids
Felt Spaceship Toy Sewing Tutorial
Sew a simple spaceship for kids to continue to explore and play. The astronaut can even leave the ship to explore!
Favorite Space Theme Books and Activities for Kids
Keep playing and learning about space with these books and activities.
Moon Activity for Kids - Storybook Science
Get creative with this moon themed art activitiy.
Do you have a favorite space activity for kids? How about another space themed book we need to read? Please share in the comments below, or on my Facebook page. You can also tag me on Instagram.
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
24 thoughts on “DIY Cardboard Space Shuttle + More Fun Space Activities for Kids”
Look at how little your kiddos are!
I know! They grow up so fast!
Love your rocket ship!
What fun! I love this!
So super cool!!! I would have never thought to use lights!
My kids really enjoy the “fanciness” the lights add!
I love love love this, it is amazing. xx
Thank you!!! :D
COOLEST. MOM. EVER.
Seriously, that is amazing!!! I bet your kids are loving it!
How much fun! That light set looks amazing, I would love o have a go a that! Great imagination.
Thanks for sharing on Family Frolics.
I remember seeing it on ikat and admiring it there. It’s great that it’s still in play.
Truly inspiring. I’ve been looking at your other cardboard posts. Love them. Cardboard boxes are truly magical things :)
We got out a cardboard box for our girl last week, but she’s too young–she just tries to eat it. This is definitely a fun and cheap way to dress up a box for hours of fun.
This is great! We are having a Rocket Ship Party for my son in May and we’ll be building something like this … although I’m envisioning HUGE! Yours is probably more doable and fun for the kids :-) Hmm, that’s an idea – build several. (Wheels churning…)!
Several would be amazing!!! So would one HUGE one :)
I just pinned your space fun!—http://pinterest.com/youmakedo/make-play/
You make some of the best cardboard creations :)
I love this! Even my big kiddos would like this one… I just need a really big box!
When I saw that photo, I thought “what a magical childhood!” Fabulous!! And I especially enjoyed your line about the space shuttle becoming a bit more loved every day. :)
LOVE how you used the LED lights! That ship is amazing, too. Just yesterday my kids made a house out of the cardboard box that our IKEA couch came in. So fun!
Big boxes are the best!!!
I love cardboard!
I love love love your space ship…I really need to do this for Luke!
Your the best!
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