Astronaut Boot Camp!

Starry Night Play dough
Ages 2+ 

Space-the final frontier! Learning about space from a young age is not only important but can also be a lot of fun. It can be difficult for those who are younger to grasp a concept as large as space which is why a sensory activity is a great learning tool to understanding stars, planets, solar systems, and galaxies. Play dough that looks like our night sky is a great way to introduce our youngest explorers to what lies beyond the clouds. Plus, it’s easy, quick, and fun to make! 



  • 1 ¼ cups of flour
  • 1 ½ cups of salt  
  • ½ cup of water  
  • 1 tablespoon of oil (we used vegetable)  
  • 2 tablespoons of black food dye, or paint 
  • Gold, blue, or silver glitter  
  • Optional: any star, planet, or other space crafts or sequins


  1. Add flour, salt, water, and oil to a large mixing bowl. Mix together until all lose ingredients are collected into a dough. If it’s too sticky, add more flour ½ a teaspoon at a time.  
  2. Once dough is mixed, add black food dye. If using paint, it will take a little more paint to get a really saturated color. Knead the color into the dough this way you can control how light or dark you want the dough to be. Add more food coloring for a deeper black, less for a lighter, moon-colored gray.  
  3. Add the glitter. It is important that you add the glitter and food dye separately so the dye won’t dull the shine of the glitter. It really stands out against the black play dough that way.  
  4.  Add any additional materials you’ve gathered, and let your little astronaut explore!  


It’s Black History Month!
Each of our STEAM Learning Labs this month will highlight an important figure in Black History. Edmonia Lewis was a famous 19th century sculptor. Check out her portrait here.