Prompt your 11- to 13-year-old to get artistic with these starry activities:
- Flip Book: Make an animated flip book of a rocket’s launch, a star’s destruction, an asteroid’s collision, or an alien’s meeting! Get creative and have fun!
- Starry Night: Spend some time looking at Van Gogh’s painting Starry Night. Notice the brush strokes, how the wind is depicted, how it makes you feel. With dark construction paper and oil pastels, begin to draw your own version of these swirls. Turn your attention to the buildings—their shapes, their relative size, how they are situated in the painting. What is the focus of the painting and how is that carried out in location, proportion, and space? Finish your own starry night drawing. Imagine your drawing is what your character sees when they look out their window. Can you write a story or poem about what they see, feel, and think?
- Hubble image drawing: “Draw” images like what you see from the Hubble telescope with these fast moving elements. You can save a jpeg of your work.
- Rocket Animations: Create simple animations of a rocket taking off, or an asteroid plummeting to a planet. Let your creative juices flow with this simple flash-like animation tool. When you are logged in, click on “create” and then “help” for simple video tutorials to get you going.
- Glue-Salt Painting: When you “paint” with glue and sprinkle salt atop it before it dries, it gives off an amazing sparkle. Add some water color and you can create a textured earth, planet, asteroid belt, or other space object.
*There are many entrance points for these activities, and many different levels integrated into the sites themselves. In addition, the sites provide instant feedback and increased support for those who need it. Thus, both struggling learners and gifted/motivated learners will find a just right challenge in any of the above activities.
**While the sites listed here are free, many offer premium services for a fee. None of these activities described require paid memberships, but some require registration and logging in. Your child should have parent approval before doing so.