Outer Space Astronaut Training Birthday Party Ideas for Kids
Kids love outerspace. Astronauts, stars and planets, aliens, UFOs, and freeze-dried ice cream - what's not to love? When my soon-to-be 5-year old son asked for an outer space party, I was a little overwhelmed with the party 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 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 in 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, firstname.lastname@example.org
The sky is the limit for decorating for your outerspace party. We started by getting a solar system kit to hang from the ceiling. Putting it together was a fun pre-party activity for me and my son to do together. We also bought glittery stars at AC Moore. I used a hole punch to make holes in them so I could hang them from the ceiling as well.
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!
- UFO/Spaceship CD Craft. While people were arriving, kids stopped by the arts table to make a UFO or spaceship. We put out old cds, stickers, yarn, old applesauce cups, and scotch tape and the kids created outerspace ships that they could take home with them.
- Lung Capacity Testing. Astronauts need to breath in very thin air. Our little astronauts in training then had to test 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 they were ready to go. The kids were told to take a deep breath and then blow out as hard as they could. The kids 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 take off! Astronauts go through intensive training before they can go into outerspace, 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 4 sets of robot arms so kids could practice moving around. We gathered up all the stuffed animals in our house and 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 outerspace. 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 10-1 they all jumped up in the air as we yelled “blast off!”
Other fun activity ideas
- 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/outerspace 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 at AC Moore. 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.