We explored several options for how we should create ours and eventually went with paper mache~my hubby's personal fave! (Actually he wanted to do Styrofoam until he priced it~yikes, that stuff is expensive)! So paper mache it was! My hubby is the paper mache king, too!
After reading some on how the surfaces of the different planets look, Vince gathered our supplies for us: a couple of bags of balloons, some scrapbook paper and liquid starch.
He picked out some really cool paper! It was probably his first time on the scrapbook paper aisle and I think he was having fun:)
Next he got all the balloons blown up to the correct dimensions. He did end up going with Styrofoam for Saturn and it's ring, after all. Then the maching began...
He did alternate layers of newspaper and paper towels, dipping the pieces into the starch. Then the top layer was the scrapbook paper~4 layers in all. Then he sprayed a clear gloss over the paper. It was about a 5 day process for the whole thing, but it turned out GREAT!!! The kiddos helped along the way, although they would get weary with the monotonous papering. But they were SO excited and involved the entire time, continually checking on the progress.
Here is Earth with its moon. I love how it turned out!!
This one is Neptune. I love the color contrast here.
Here's Saturn with its ring. The ring is attached with straightened paper clips (as is Earth's moon above).
This one is Jupiter~one of my faves, too.
He hung them in their proper order--and, yes, we included Pluto-- from the sun (the big orange/yellow one) from a pvc pipe with clear fishing line and we attached the pvc pipe above the window in our learning room. It makes a very cool window treatment, don'tcha think?
This is going to be so awesome to refer to all year long as we progress through our astronomy study! I'm so excited about it!