Astronomy can be something fun and exciting to study with your students (or your own children) during the upcoming summer months. From stargazing to studying the phases of the moon, there are lots of things to learn and discover about our solar system. You can also teach children about different galaxies, such as the Milky Way (the home of our solar system). As part of your lesson, have children create their own galaxy paintings with the art activity below. 


What to Do:

  1. Prep your art area by putting down a splash mat and having aprons out for children to wear during the art project. 
  2. Cut each sheet of black poster board into four smaller pieces until each child has a canvas. 
  3. Give each child four paint brushes to use (one for each paint color). Three of the brushes should be of similar size, but the other brush should have a wide tip to help children create stars with the white paint near the end of the activity. You may also want to provide brushes that have different designs, such as the Creative Design Brushes used in the video. 
  4. Provide each child with a paper plate, and squeeze a quarter-sized amount of white paint in the middle of the plates. Once that's done, squeeze a quarter-sized amount of the other three colors around the white paint. Tell children that they should only use the white paint to mix and create new colors for their galaxy painting.
  5. Have children paint their canvases with different colors. Be sure to encourage them to mix the colors together. Children can paint a multicolored space cloud by using brushes to put splotches of different paint colors all over the canvas and then using a brush to mix all of the splotches together. 
  6. Ask them to pick up a clean brush and use the white paint to create a few stars. One easy way to create stars is by simply dabbing the white paint on the canvas at a few different spots. 
  7. Give each table/station a paper cup filled about half full with water. Instruct students to put the brush with the wide tip in the water and then swirl it in the white paint on their paper plate. Once they've done that, they should be able to run their finger across the brush tip and flick little stars onto their paintings.
  8. Let children's galaxy paintings dry. You can then hang them around the classroom or send them home with students to put in their room.  

Want more information about exploring astronomy with your students? We have a variety of tips and materials you can utilize in your lesson plans. Be sure to share your students' galaxy paintings in the comment section below or on our Facebook and Twitter pages.