Get your kids engaged while learning about the Sun, Earth, and Moon and how they orbit with this simple and fun paper craft.
I have shared activities to teach your kids about astronomy in the past. Astronomy is always a favorite STEM topic for kids. There is just something about learning about the Sun, Moon, and Earth that gets kids interested in science. I have never met one that does not love the topic.
All that to say, I know your kids will love this Sun, Moon, and Earth Paper Craft.
You can this craft as part of the astronomy unit study to demonstrate the movement of the Sun, Earth, and Moon. This is such a great way to start a discussion on how they relate to one another.
How to Make the Sun, Earth, and Moon Paper Craft
- Free Sun, Earth, and Moon paper craft template
- Colored construction paper (yellow, orange, 2 shades of grey, blue, and green)
- Popsicle sticks or craft sticks
- Glue stick
1. Download and print out the Sun, Earth, and Moon paper craft template. Cut out all template pieces.
2. For the sun, trace the outer sun ray pattern on orange paper and trace the inner circle on yellow paper.
For the Earth, trace the circle base on blue paper and continent patterns on green paper.
For the Moon, trace the circle base on the darker grey paper and the inner patterns on the lighter grey paper.
Cut out all the traced patterns.
3. For the Sun craft, glue the yellow circle cutout in the center of the orange sun ray cutout.
4. For the Earth craft, glue the green continent pieces on the blue circle base. The rounded sides of the green pieces should align with the outer edge of the circle.
5. For the Moon craft, glue the 3 inner patterns on the circle base cutout. You can arrange them randomly, as they represent the craters on the Moon.
6. Glue the popsicle sticks to the back of the Sun, Earth and Moon paper craft.
How to Use the Sun, Earth, and Moon Model
It is really difficult to explain in words how the Earth orbits around the Sun and how the Moon orbits around the Earth. It is even harder to explain how the planet Earth rotates on its axis as it revolves around the Sun.
Using these Sun, Earth, and Moon paper crafts, your kids can act out these bodies and their movements in our solar system.
One person can hold the Sun and stay still in the center of the solar system. Another can take the Earth craft and walk around the Sun in an elliptical. While walking, he or she can also rotate the Earth craft slowly (he or she can also spin and turn while walking around the Sun while holding the Earth craft still, but that would be hard to do for small kids).
You can explain to your kids how it takes about 24 hours, or one day, for the Earth to complete a full rotation. This is what causes us to experience the light from the Sun during the day and darkness during the night. Moreover, it takes the Earth 365 1/4 days, or a year, to finish revolving around the Sun.
Then one more person can take the Moon craft and walk in a circle around the person holding the Earth craft. This demonstrates how the Moon’s position as it revolves around the Earth causes the different Moon phases.
I recommend that you do this Sun-Earth-Moon motion demonstration outside where you can draw the orbits with chalks on the ground. Your children can then follow the chalk outlines with their Earth and Moon crafts. Otherwise, the Moon and the Earth might crash into the Sun and cause chaos in the solar system!
Look for more outer space activities and crafts?
Learn how to make a DIY 3D solar system model using styrofoam balls and a fun painting technique! You won’t believe how easy it is to make realistic-looking planets.
Your kids can make a LEGO sundial that will be able to track the time throughout the day. It’s probably the oldest instrument that people used to tell time and it still works today.
And if your kids are into all the planets in our solar system, make sure you check out the coffee filter planets suncatchers craft. Your kids can explore capillary action with the coffee filter and water and how it creates beautiful works of art.