We used some of the materials from our shelves and combined them to create one big interactive lesson. That's the beauty of incorporating a theme throughout each area - each one lends to another (in true Montessori fashion!).
We did a variety of things:
We used our books as a guide and laid the planet cards out in the proper order.
I made up a song to teach the order of the planets and we sang that several times all the while patting each of the planet cards as we sang its name.
We matched the balls to the planet cards and, using our books, talked about the characteristics of each planet. James was SO interested in this - he wasn't content just to know that one side of Mars is freezing cold while the other side is roasting hot; he wanted to know WHY. I'm so going to need to brush up on my space knowledge!
We took turns pretending to be the sun, Earth and moon and we'd circle around one another, simulating the rotation of the Earth and moon. James LOVED this and as he circle around me, holding the Earth, he'd sing, "I'm the Earth, I'm the Earth!". :)
When we talked about the moon we brought out the space figurines from our sensory tub and the "moon rocks" from one of our math activities. James has resolved that he WILL go to the moon someday to play with all the moon rocks and to drive the Lunar Rover. I hope he does!
Here's the song I made up, just in case anyone wants to use it. It's not super creative, but it works:
(To the tune of "Ten Little Indians")
Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars
Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune
These eight planets in our solar system
Travel around the sun.
Short and sweet! And notice I didn't include Pluto (poor, exiled Pluto!). :)
~Thank you for your comments!~