Top solar system toys of 2020

solar system toys
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When I was teaching first grade, I was reading over the science lessons about space and was a little nervous about how my students would be able to conceptualize something that was as vast and far away as space. I was honestly concerned that they wouldn’t be able to connect with the content. My worry was short lived, however, because from Day 1 of that unit, the five-and- six-year olds in my class came alive when we studied the solar system. Now it’s a few years later, and I can see that space is actually a draw for many young minds. Right now, my son, at three years old, is already fascinated with space. Below find some fantastic solar system toys that can help space become a hands-on learning adventure for children. They can inspire scientific conversations and spark a passion for seeking out answers.

solar system toys

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Solar System Stuffed Toys

Features: Celestial Buddies has an entire collection of stuffed toys for the solar system…all of the planets, the sun, a black hole, and more. These cuddly toys are perfect for solar system lovers.

  • Ages:  3-10 years old.
  • Skills: STEM, comfort, empathy, language development.

Dramatic Play Solar System Toys

Features: This indoor tent can activate kids’ imaginations and help them fly throughout the solar system! Plus, it folds flat and comes with a carrying case.

  • Ages:  2-6 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.
  • Notes: This tent is made for indoor use only. It’s lightweight and won’t hold up well to rough play.

Features: This four piece astronaut suit comes with gloves, a helmet, and a space suit (complete with astronaut name tag!). The suit is machine washable, and comes with plenty of room to grow. Plus, the helmet is also cloth and easy to store.

  • Ages:  3-6 years old
  • Skills: Language skills, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: This is an awesome gender neutral dramatic play option for all children who love space!

Features: This large  NASA back pack comes with space gloves and a helmet!

  • Ages:  7-20 years old
  • Skills: Dramatic play.
  • Notes: The product description states that this backpack is suitable for children ages 3 and up. However, reviewers note that it is a large back pack with ample storage, and won’t be suitable for young children to carry. It has ample storage and is a great backpack for older children or even young adults.

Interactive Solar System Toys & Activities

These interactive solar system toys can be perfect for younger children who are learning about space but not yet ready to make their own models.

Features: This solar system magnet set is perfect for children to play on the fridge!

  • Ages:  3-6 years old.
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: With frequent use, the pictures may peel off the magnets. But, reviewers speak highly about this interactive set.

Features: This magnetic play scene can be used and reused countless times!

  • Ages:  4-6 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.
  • Notes: The magnets in this set are relatively small and is rated for children 3 and older.

Features: Includes over 1000 stickers and many solar system activities!

  • Ages:  3-9 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: The activities in the book are solar system themed, but this book is not necessarily made to teach children facts about space. Children under 4 or 5 years old will need adult help to complete the activities.

Features: This throw-back toy shows real pictures of space when you look through the lenses!

  • Ages:  3-7 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: This toy is great for use in the car and to spark conversations about space, but isn’t a particularly active toy.

Features: This LEGO set is a wonderful kit for children of all genders to learn about important scientific contributions that these four women have made to NASA and to our society at large. It includes Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison and their contributions to studies of the solar system.

  • Ages:  10-14 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.
  • Notes: This set is a great starter kit, however it only represents a small fraction of the total women who have been a part of NASA. It can be used as a starting point to encourage conversations about much needed diversity in science.

Features: With this kit, children can build their very own vehicles with which to explore the solar system. It comes with a a space shuttle, Mars Cover, 2 LEGO City Mars astronaut minifigures, plus a helidrone and storage drone. 

  • Ages:  5-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.
  • Notes: Younger children will likely need support to follow the instructions to complete these builds.

Features: This magnetic solar system is interactive and great for travel.

  • Ages:  3-12 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: the planets are not proportional. Also, Pluto is included but not labeled as a planet.

DIY Solar System Toys & Crafts

For a while, science and art were thought of as separate mediums with which to explore the world. I don’t think that could be farther than the truth! Both art and science encourage children to take risks, think outside of the box, and experiment with new ideas. The solar system toys below marry both art and science.

Features: This set comes with 20 wooden stamps, 41 color your own stickers, 1 two-color stamp pad, 6 colored pencils, and 1 sticker activity scene.

  • Ages:  4-9 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.

Features: This scratch-and-sketch comes full of information about the solar system and allows children to use their creativity to draw space photos.

  • Ages:  3-10 years old.
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.
  • Notes: For this book, children will make their own photos (there are not hidden photos under neath the scratch paper). It’s a great way for them to get in touch with their creativity! Because you scratch off a black top layer when you are using it, it does create a little bit of a black mess. But, it cleans up easily and for me is well worth the fun.

Features: Comes with everything kids need to make their own solar system mobile.

  • Ages:  5-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: There are many DIY space models on the market, and many reviewers complain about workmanship. This one is well rated for ease of use.

Features: This kit comes with planets that can be painted and attached to the included string lights. A fun DIY activity for solar system lovers.

  • Ages:  6-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: This does require assembly and younger children will likely need help to complete it.

Features: This inflatable set of planets can be hung from the ceiling! They are not to scale, but they do reflect the appropriate relative sizes.

  • Ages:  5-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM.
  • Notes: Some reviewers noted that holes in the planets can be hard to repair. Also, they need to be reinflated fairly often, and that the included pump isn’t that great. However, they are a wonderful way to let children hold planets in the palm of their hands!

Features: This affordable kit comes complete with the supplies you need for a DIY solar system. It’s made for school projects, but a great hands-on activity for children who are interested in the solar system, as well. There are other kits on the market, but this one is the most highly rated– it’s not overly complicated and straight forward to assemble.

  • Ages:  6-9 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: Some reviewers note that some of the paint on the planets is rubbed off upon arrival. They had good luck sprucing up the paint on their own at home. The planets are the correct relative size, but not proportional (as that would mean that the sun, for an example, would have to be HUGE!).

Solar System Puzzles

As explained by Hassan Alnassir, puzzles allow children to practice fine motor skills, concentration, spatial awareness, memory, hand-eye coordination, and more!

Features: This 3D puzzle comes with 146 pieces and can be a fun way to see the solar system come to life!

  • Ages:  7-10 years old.
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, creativity.

Features: This wooden puzzle is a fun shape and can spark some fun conversations about the solar system!

  • Ages:  4-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills.
  • Notes: This tent is marked as a floor puzzle, and it can be done on the floor…but note that it measures 19 inches across, and is smaller than other floor puzzles.

Features: This large floor puzzle is interactive and informative. My son learned the planet’s names by doing this puzzle with us!

  • Ages:  3-6 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, gross motor skills.
  • Notes: This puzzle has 48 pieces, and younger children will to do it with an adult or older sibling. The perspective on it is a bit funky, but makes it challenging (in a good way, in my opinion!) to put together.

Functional Solar System Toys

These items below can help the solar system come to life!

Features: This night light/projector combo unit projects constellations onto bedroom walls! It can help transform a child’s bedroom into outer space.

  • Ages:  1-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM, self-care.
  • Notes: This projector can be plugged into the wall (wall plug not included) or operated on 3 AAA batteries. Reviewers note that while some projectors only project a picture on one part of the wall this one covers the entire wall spaces.

Features: This affordable rug is perfect for space-lovers…it can transform their play space or bedroom into their very own solar system. Kids can use their imagination to to travel from planet to planet.

  • Ages:  2-10 years old
  • Skills: STEM, gross motor skills, creativity.
  • Notes: This rug does include Pluto.

Features: This projector brings all of the phases of the moon into your very own bedroom! It can spark wonderful educational conversations about the moon. Plus, it also works as a nightlight. It has a timer that turns it off after 30 minutes.

  • Ages:  2-12 years old
  • Skills: STEM, language.

Solar System Games

Features: This game is similar to Monopoly, but themed like the solar system!

  • Ages:  8 years old and up
  • Skills: STEM, problem solving, money management, game strategy.

Features: This solar-system themed memory card came comes with real photos of planets on each card! Recommend for 1-4 players.

  • Ages:  6-12 years old
  • Skills: STEM, problem solving, strategy.
  • Notes: This game comes with many cards, so the difficulty level can be easily adjusted depending on the age(s) of the player(s).

Features: These activity mats have 20 space-themed games on them. They are dry-erase boards, and can be used over and over again!

  • Ages:  6-9 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills

Features: This game is a twist on the classic “Memory” game. Instead of trying to find a match, children are trying to find the correct piece to complete their space adventure. It can be played with 2-6 players.

  • Ages:  4-7 years old
  • Skills: STEM, fine motor skills, memory, problem solving.

Solar System Books

Features: This is a wonderful comprehensive introduction to the solar system and all things space. It is easy to read aloud and full of facts and photos. It is written to be enjoyed through read aloud.

  • Ages:  3-8 years old
  • Skills: STEM, literacy.

Features: This book is written in the style of Dr. Seuss. It’s easy to read and full of space facts.

  • Ages:  1-9 years old
  • Skills: STEM, literacy.

Features: This book is perfect for preschoolers who want to learn more about space. It is a wonderful non-fiction text full of actual photos of space.

  • Ages:  3-5 years old
  • Skills: Language skills, literacy, STEM.
  • Notes: This book is fairly long (68 pages) and one that you can visit over and over again.

Solar System toys can be a wonderful way for children to connect with space and literally hold it in the palm of their hands. These toys can be a wonderful addition to a homeschooling curriculum.

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