Our Galaxy in a Jar craft is perfect for parents and teachers of kids of all ages. It's particularly enjoyed by those that have an interest in space. Use it alongside a solar system lesson or just anytime you want to provide them a fun activity that creates something beautiful!
What is galaxy in a jar?
Think about the photos or paintings you have seen of our galaxy. They probably look a lot like this. Swirls of cloudy blues, reds, and pinks, with lot of stars dotting the dark background.
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Our Galaxy in a Jar craft, sometimes called a Nebula in a Jar, looks a lot like the picture above. It's just condensed in a way the children can make and understand it. It's like holding a bit of space in your hands.
Your kids have control of what color they want to use in their galaxy as well as how cloudy they want it. The amount of glitter you add to the jar will also determine the amount of stars floating in their galaxy jar.
There are so many ways your child can make this craft look all their own, let me show you how:
How to Make a Galaxy Jar
Making a galaxy jar with your kids is a fun and easy craft that allows you to bring the beauty of space into your home! It's simple and only takes about 10 minutes to do…short enough to keep little attention spans occupied until you're finished.
They only require 5 materials, some of which you may already have in your home. Once done, you can set the jar up in their bedroom or anywhere you want to display the vivid, swirly colors. It's really pretty!
You can choose to do one color for each jar, or you can do different colors to see how well they blend together. It's really up to you. We did one color, but next time we do it, I think some purple, pink, and red would look amazing together!
Think about a galaxy, there are so many different colors you can add and still look real. I ended up allowing each child to pick a color and a glitter. You will pick what works for your family.
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How do you make a galaxy in a jar step by step
To make this craft, you will need the following materials. You can get them all on Amazon!
Here is a handy list for you:
Begin by mixing the water and food coloring in small cups or containers. This makes it easier for your child to pour it into the jars.
Fill the bottom of your plastic jars with cotton balls. Add enough of them so your jar is about 1/3 full. You can stretch out the cotton balls before placing them inside if you want to use less of them or to give the “cloud” a longer or thinner look.
Pour in the colored water into the jar. Fill the jar with the water just enough so that it covers the cotton balls. Toss in some glitter.
Repeat cotton balls, then color water, and then glitter twice more until the jar is full.
Seal the jar tightly so that no water leaks!
Bonus Idea: You can decorate the outside of the jars with outer space stickers if you wish!
DIY Galaxy jar with cotton balls
This easy craft can be done as part of a science lesson about outer space. Do if when you are reading some of the best space books for preschoolers! It provides a hands-on look at what astronomers see through their telescopes.
At first glance, this space craft may look incredibly messy. It really wasn't though. My three littles had fun make these jars without any mess. We had to sit down and talk about taking turns and being careful, but even my three year old did amazing! You can always lay down some newspaper on the table before you begin.
We ended up outside because it was a beautiful morning.
Also, these art smocks are perfect for keeping your kids clothes clean. You'll want to put them in play clothes too – just in case of accidents. Check the price of smocks on amazon here.
How many cotton balls do you need for a galaxy jar?
Typically each 1/3 of the jar takes 3-4 cotton balls. As mentioned, if you stretch out the cotton, you may be able to do more or less.
The idea is to have the color water absorbed by the cotton, so make sure there's enough for it to be almost completely soaked up.
I would have about 12-15 cotton balls laid out for each galaxy in a jar craft you are going to do.
How long do galaxy jars last?
As long as they are sealed tight, your galaxy jar can last a long time. Just make sure the lid stays tightly on the jar so there isn't any messes down the road.
If you're happy with your galaxy, add some glue around the top lip of your jar, and then your lid will be glued on tight when you screw it on.
- Plastic Jar
- Cotton Balls
- Star Glitter
- Food Coloring
- Stick to push down cotton balls
- Mix together some water and food coloring in a small cup with your child, then together pour it into your plastic jar.
- Add 3-4 cotton balls to the bottom of your jar, allowing them to soak up the water.
- Pour in some of your glitter
- Mix up more water with color (this can be the same, or a different color) and repeat steps 1-3 until your jar is full
- Seal the lid by adding some glue to the mouth of the jar and securing the lid tightly.
There are so many variations you can do with this craft. You can do more of the project yourself if your child is younger, or allow them more freedom to express themselves with this craft if they're older.
My middle child is very artistic, and he loves to add his own flair on things, so he chose a different type of glitter than everyone else. He also requested to add glitter to the bottom BEFORE adding cotton balls. So he ended up with a totally different look than the rest of our jars.
If you have the ability, let your child take the lead. Show them the steps you want to take, and let them decide where to take it. You might be surprised!