Motherhood has brought on new passions such as cake decorating, party planning, and cooking for and with my children.
How to Throw an Astronaut Training Party for Kids
Kids love outer space. Astronauts, stars and planets, aliens, UFOs, and freeze-dried ice cream—what's not to love? When my soon-to-be five-year-old son asked for an outer space party, I was a little overwhelmed with the possibilities. Here are some ideas we used to throw a simple but very fun astronaut training party.
To make invitations, we downloaded a picture of an astronaut landing on the moon and used photoshop to edit in our son’s face so that it looked like he was the astronaut. Any photo editor will do the trick (e.g., Gimpshop).
For the text of the invitation, we used space station language to invite our friends to join the "astronaut training" party. Here's the text from our invite:
What: Astronaut Training Party for Jacob’s 5th Birthday!
Launch Date: Sunday, January 8
Launch time: 10:30–12:00
Launch Pad: 55 Fifth Street
Confirm Your Spot with Mission Control: 555-555-5555, email@example.com
Outer Space Decorations
The sky is the limit for decorating for your outer space party.
- We started by getting a solar system kit to hang from the ceiling. Putting it together was a fun pre-party activity for my son and me to do together.
- We also bought glittery stars. I used a hole punch so I could hang them from the ceiling.
- For other decorations, I bought some silver and gold foil paper and hung it up all over our living room.
- I also borrowed some outer space supplies from my son’s preschool, like laminated color photos of different planets, and hung them up on the wall.
- Finally, I purchased some fleece fabric at Joanne’s fabric to use as a floor covering. It's now my son's favorite blanket!
Fun Activities for Your Guests
- UFO/Spaceship CD Craft: While people were arriving, kids stopped by the art table to make a UFO or spaceship. We put out old CDs, stickers, yarn, old applesauce cups, and scotch tape, and the kids created spaceships that they could take home with them.
- Lung Capacity Testing: Astronauts need to breathe in very thin air. Our little astronauts-in-training tested their lung capacity by blowing the paper off straws. I bought a box of 500 straws and ripped about an inch of paper off the end so that they were ready to go. The kids were told to take a deep breath and then blow out as hard as they could. They absolutely loved this activity. Beware: you will be finding straws and straw wrappers for months after the party!
Astronaut Training Activities
When our astronauts arrived, they had to prepare for takeoff! Astronauts go through intensive training before they can go into outer space, and so did our little astronauts in training!
- Practice Using Robot Arms: Moving around in space can be awkward in the big astronaut suits. We bought four sets of robot arms so kids could practice moving around. We gathered up all the stuffed animals in our house, and the kids had to practice picking them up and moving them from one chair to the other.
- Blast Off: Now that the astronauts were ready, they got to take off for outer space. We had all the little kids lie down and put their feet up in the air, just like astronauts do when they’re in their spaceships! When it was time for take-off, we counted down from 10 to 1, and they all jumped up in the air as we yelled, "Blast off!"
Other Ideas for Fun Astronaut Training Games and Activities
- Pin the Rocket on the Moon: This is another take on "Pin the Tail on the Donkey." Print out rocket ship coloring pages and cut out the rocket ships (as many as there are kids at your party). Blindfold the kids and have them pin the rocket ships on the moon for the big landing. The one that lands closest to the center of the moon gets a prize.
- Freeze Dance: Queue up Sting’s Walking on the Moon for a moon version of freeze dance. In this version, ask kids to dance in slow motion, like they are on the moon.
- Moon Bounce: For outdoor parties, a moon bounce can help kids understand the feeling of bouncing up and down on the moon.
- Moon Rock Hunt: This is another one that would work well in the great outdoors. Paint some rocks silver and hide them around the yard. Kids can search for moon rocks and then keep them as party favors.
The moon landing/outer space cake was a lot of fun to decorate and even more fun to eat! For this cake, I made round planets and moons by baking the cake in glass bowls. Making the earth by using blue (sky and water), white (clouds), and green (land) frosting was surprisingly easy. Placing the astronauts and rocket ships on the moon were the final touches. Read my step-by-step instructions for decorating this cake.
For the gift bags, I bought simple silver goody bags. In each, I put a mini space figurine, space stickers, space odyssey fact cards, and pop rocks! Freeze-dried ice cream would make another great favor.
LauraGT (author) from MA on May 31, 2012:
Alissaroberts: Thanks! CD crafts are a lot of fun. Enjoy!
Alissa Roberts from Normandy, TN on May 31, 2012:
Oh how I love creative birthday party ideas! These are all so cute from the cake to the party games. I am going to have to try out that UFO CD craft with my boys this summer. Will have to keep your party ideas in my back pocket just in case my boys ever want an astronaut party - voted up and awesome!
LauraGT (author) from MA on April 26, 2012:
Danette, thanks for reading, commenting,and sharing! The kids had a blast with the robot arms. I think what they pick up depends on the age. I used stuffed animals, which wasn't too hard for 5 year olds. You could also use something smaller - little alien toys, moon rocks, or astronaut figurines.
Danette Watt from Illinois on April 25, 2012:
This is a cute idea for a birthday party! I like the idea of practicing picking things up with robot arms and can imagine it would be tricky to do. Voted up and sharing on Google+
LauraGT (author) from MA on April 25, 2012:
Thanks Partypail. Yes, the lung capacity testing was a big hit. I had 500 straws for 20 kids and the activity lasted about 10 minutes! It probably took me almost an hour to tear off the paper from the ends, but it was worth it to see how much fun they had. And, the robot arms were a big hit, plus they made good prizes for some of the kids who helped clean up at the end of the party.
PartyPail from www.partypail.com on April 25, 2012:
It sounds like Ben's party was a big hit. I imagine the kids could have done the lung capacity testing for hours! What a great idea buying robot arms to simulate moving around in space. Thanks for sharing!