July 13, 2008

The Solar System in Coloured Card

Filed under: Kids Projects,Paper Craft,Science and Art — sarah @ 2:36 pm

the solar system not to scale

I have been doing the Astronomy and Astronuatics badges with my scout group and as part of it felt that they needed to understand what was in the solar system and where so I made a solar system out of card which they had to put in order.


the solar system improoved by the kids

I then got them to add the things that were missing such as the asteroid belt and comets! Some of them made their own version of it to take home.

blue and green

For the planets Neptune and Uranus I cut out one green circle and one blue circle, and one blue and one green oval that were about twice as wide as the discs. I then drew a smaller ellipse in the ovals – these touched the top line so when I cut them out it left two ‘broken rings’. Uranus and Neptune are the two smaller gaseous planets and have rings, they tend to both be sort of icy colours so I decided to reverse the colours. They also have rings but this is a relatively recent discovery.

ringed planets

Using pritt stick glue I stuck the rings on with the ‘broken’ bit of the ring behind the planet. This gave them a sense of perspective and helps you to visualise that the ring goes around the planets.

For Saturn I drew a larger yellow circle and cut out an orange ring. Saturn and Jupiter are the larger gaseous planets and tend to be the more warm colours, Saturn is also famous for its rings!

bits of saturn


I glued the ring in place on Jupiter.


I then wanted to add in the stripey type banding that you see on these planets – this is their atmosphere and how it moves about. I chose brown for this and drew a circle the same size as the yellow circle I had initially used for the planet. I then cut it out. Once I had the brown circle I cut sections and bands from it and stuck them on the planet. I should have done this before I stuck the ring on but never mind!

For Jupiter I took a sheet of orange paper that had a pattern of smudgy red lines on it; these represent the storm belts on the planet. I then simply cut out a yellow oval for the ‘red spot’ a storm that has been raging for a stupid length of time and which is very big. I know it’s called the red spot but it doesn’t look that red to me and a red oval didn’t actually look right on the orange and red card.


For Earth, which is one of the small inner rocky or terrestrial planets, I drew a small circle on some pale blue card. I then cut out some green card in roughly continent shapes and put white card on the two poles – to represent the ice sheets – though if warming continues I may have to revise the planet.


I cut small circles out of red card for Mars, orange with red smudges for Venus and brown for Mercury. I then covered Mars and Mercury in glitter from glitter pens and 3D paint. Red for Mars, silver and gold for Mercury.


For the Sun which is the star at the centre of our solar system I drew the largest circle on yellow card with orange smudgy lines on it.  I then cut triangles around the circle to represent the heat rays and light coming off instead of just cutting around the circle (the foot belongs to my little girl who was ‘helping’).

the sun

I then used gold and bronze glitter pens and yellow and red 3D paint pens to decorate the sun.

glittered sun

The scouts added in moons and asteroids which was fun, oh and Pluto which is still being argued about but is considered a plutonian object now rather than a planet or asteroid. Or was last time I checked!


If you made the planets double sided I think you could make a lovely planetary mobile out of them!

One response to “The Solar System in Coloured Card”

  1. […] have been working on the Astromomy and Astronautics badge with my Scout group and to go with the Coloured Card Solar System, I got them to all make these pompom […]

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