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Spend the Day Just Like an Astronaut and Get Lost In Space

Ever wondered what, exactly, astronauts do all day? Besides float in space? We've got answers.

Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns

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Getty

Houston, do you copy? Get your kids ready to spend the day just like an astronaut. They'll learn all about what astronauts eat, how they train, and most importantly, how they have fun! With this guide, they’ll be ready to head right to Cape Canaveral to hop on the next rocket to the International Space Station. Don't forget to pack a lunch.

Astronaut Training

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Make sure they have their helmet before they head to astronaut training! First on the training list: Learning how to get used to zero gravity. While floating in zero Gs is a hard experience to replicate in the kitchen, this space box activity is a fun way for kids to test what it feels like to work in zero gravity, just like astronauts work in space. They just stick their hands into the gloves and see if they can put together the puzzles in the box — it may take a few tries, but that's what training is all about!

Think Like an Astronaut

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The Astronaut Test

Next, it’s time to put their mind to the test: take the Astronaut Test with your kid, and see if they're well-suited to the job. The online quiz is based on real-life NASA psychological aptitude tests and official NASA Astronaut Candidate requirements. They'll learn whether they're the ideal age and height, and which skills are especially valuable for real-life astronauts (do they speak any Russian?). Plus they can test themselves with fun logic and spatial-analysis puzzles to see if they really think like an astronaut!

Space Watch

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Disney

Now that they’ve worked on their skills, it’s time to watch some training videos. Have your space cadets head on over to the couch, dim the lights, and spend some time watching their favorite movies all about space. They can learn all about NASA and the incredible women in Hidden Figures, watch WALL·E save the planet in the animated classic, or see how friendly aliens can be in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Fuel Up!

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After a morning of training, give them a chance to refuel with some space-themed snacks. Start off with a galaxy mocktail and some chocolate galaxy bark. If they still have room, they can blast off right into some galaxy cake pops designed to look just like swirling stars.

Do they want to really see what space food is like? Start them off simple with some homemade astronaut “ice cream.” The ice cream is actually meringue cookies. The cookies mimic the freeze-dried texture of space food, so it’s perfect to try out so they can get used to their new space diet. Teach Beside Me adds mint into her cookies to make mint ice cream, but feel free to use other extracts and flavoring to make different kinds of “ice cream.”

To the Craft Table — and Beyond!

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Adventure in a Box

Sure, it’s important to have math and engineering skills in space, but it’s also important to have creative skills. You’ll never know when you need to find a solution or need some crafting skills aboard the ISS. Plus, crafting will helps kids practice fine motor skills, which will come in handy during every spacewalk.

Start the kids off with a craft that will double as a star map and have them make some Planet Puppets. This craft will help them keep all of the planets in line, just in case they need a refresher. Once they’ve got the planets covered, they can work on the sun with a stained glass space suncatcher. This starry night art card will help them prepare for what they’ll see right outside their window once they blast off into space.

On-the-Fly Training

Just because the space-filled day is over doesn't mean the astronaut activities have to stop. Continue their problem-solving skills and keep their memory focused with an Outer Space Secret Picture Puzzle. The colorful and bright puzzle will help young astronauts keep their skills sharp. When they’ve finished the 42-piece puzzle, move on to a more difficult challenge and see how fast they can complete a 60-piece space-themed puzzle.

Need to take their training on the go? It’s never been easier than with the Outer Space Activity Pack. The kit easily packs up into a mini suitcase, so they can bring their space skills in the car, to their BFF's house, or grandma and grandpa’s house. 

Banana Panda Observational Puzzle Space

$18.99
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MudPuppy 100-Piece Space Glow Puzzle

$11.99
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Come Play in Space!

Finally, put all of their skills to the test at Cosmic CAMP! The space-filled exploration lets kids navigate alien terrain with a rover, explore lava fields, and decode ice crystals. It’s time to blast off! You’re not going to want to miss this out-of-this-world family experience!

Updated June 2022