Learning through play: Moon landing crafts for small world play

After learning about Christopher Columbus and his voyage to the Americas, our next topic was Neil Armstrong and the first Moon landing. This provided another good excuse for some space-themed crafting and a little small world play to help bring history to life.


A toilet roll rocket, a tin-foil lunar module, a miniature American flag and a tiny astronaut on moon sand in a tuff tray - "Learning through play: Moon landing crafts for small world play"


Toilet roll rocket

You will need:

  • A toilet roll tube
  • Silver card
  • Coloured paper
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • A mug
  • A 1p coin


1) Use a mug to draw a circle on a piece of silver card and cut out.


2) Draw two circles on the silver card using a 1p coin and cut out.


A mug and a penny on a piece of card


3) Draw four semi-circle shapes on the silver card and cut out. Cut a small slit in the top of each semi-circle.


Four semi-circles with a slit in the middle of each cut from silver card


4) Cover the toilet roll tube with glue and cover with the coloured paper, trimming off the excess.


5) Cut a quarter segment out of the large silver circle. Tape the edges together to make a cone shape. Glue this to the top of the toilet roll tube.


Two small circles and a large circle with a segment cut out, cut from silver card


6) Glue the two circles to the toilet roll tube.


7) Cut four slits in the bottom of the toilet roll tube. Push a silver card semi-circle into each of the four slits.


A rocket made from a toilet roll tube



Lunar module

You will need:

  • A polystyrene cup
  • Silver foil
  • Scissors
  • Sticky tape
  • Glue
  • Two pipe cleaners
  • A marker pen
  • Washi tape (optional)


1) Cut the polystyrene cup in half.


A polystyrene cup cut in half


2) Cut a rounded opening for the lunar module out of the bottom half of the cup.


The bottom half of the polystyrene cut with a small circular shape cut out


3) Trim the offcut from step 2 so that it is circular in shape and use a marker pen to draw a circle in the centre.


4) Cover the top half of the polystyrene cup in silver foil. We covered the top first and secured with sticky tape and then covered the sides. You can also use washi tape to add a decorative edge at the bottom.


5) Glue the polystyrene cup offcut to the top half of the polystyrene cup.


The top half of the polystyrene cup covered in tin foil with the circular offcut stuck on top


6) Cover the bottom half of the polystyrene cup in silver foil and use sticky tape to secure if needed.


6) Bend two pipe cleaners in half and open out. Use sticky tape to attach the pipe cleaners to the underside of the bottom half of the polystyrene cup to make the legs for the lunar module. If the pipe cleaners are a bit long, you can fold them back in towards the middle. Bend the bottom ends of the pipe cleaner out to make feet and cover the feet with a small piece of silver foil.


Sophie sticking two pipe cleaners to the foil-covered bottom half of the polystyrene cup


Sophie bending the pipe cleaners and wrapping a small piece of foil around the bottom of each


7) Place the top half of the cup on the bottom half and your lunar module is complete.


The finished lunar module made from a polystyrene cup,tin foil and pipe cleaners


We also painted a small wooden peg to create our little astronaut. I made some moon sand by mixing eight cups of flour with one cup of vegetable oil and spread this out in the tuff tray to create our lunar surface.


Sophie playing with the lunar module, toilet roll tube rocket and astronaut in the moon sand in the tuff tray


Sophie had a great time recreating the moon landings with her rocket and lunar module. Our Moon landing started off fairly conventionally (albeit with a rather bumpy landing). Our little peg astronaut took “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” planted his flag and headed home again. After that, Sophie’s version of events was somewhat different. Her astronaut headed back to the Moon to make “moon-sand angels” and then some giants came along and stomped all over the moon before finishing off with turning the moon into a giant moon-sand castle. Don’t you just love imaginative play?



Kids and Kreativity linky

3 thoughts on “Learning through play: Moon landing crafts for small world play

  1. As a former early years practitioner I love these#kidsandkreativity@-karendennis

  2. Love this, I love your little lunar model! I really need to get myself a tough tray, can you believe I haven’t got one yet! Thanks for sharing at #KidsandKreativity, hope to see you back next time x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.