Friday, January 18, 2019

Can't Remember the Order of the Planets? Make a Solar System Necklace!

Let me start by saying that I'm sure you can find a cheaper way to do this project! On Pinterest, there are projects like this where you can buy wooden beads in different sizes and paint them (check out this post for that project and here's another solar system necklace just so you don't think I came up with this idea on my own).

I was NOT going to do that, and one reason is because I'm a Professional Procrastinator and I was tossing this project together the day before Homeschool Co-op Astronomy class for Fifth and Sixth graders. I normally need Quick and Easy! I was originally looked up ideas for a hanging mobile, which is neat, but I wanted something smaller since I'm in Tidying Up mode and my friends are too. Something small they could learn from but put away easily hit the spot.

I went to Hobby Lobby for the beads and my oldest son Joel helped me pick them out. I looked up a picture of the planet colors and just went from there and did the best I could. It drove some of my kids insane that the sizes of the beads don't reflect the sizes of the planets, but that wasn't the point :-)

It helped that these string beads were 50% off that day because they can get pricey ... $3-7 per string. I spent a total of $39, but that included a $2 bead keeper and the string. I found a 40% off coupon online using my phone, and that made the stretchy string cheaper (40% off $7.50).

I also get a class fee of $10 from each kid, so that helps to offset anything I'm going to spend out of pocket this semester. I don't mind going out of pocket a bit because (1) my Eva is in the class and (2) these are the children of my friends and I love them :-) This year we are also going to do marshmallow/toothpick constellations and galaxy slime!

I got them all organized (okay, Callie helped me) in this bead-keeper in the right order.

Then I put one of each bead into a baggie, along with a length of stretchy string.

I put all of the individual packets in a larger baggie, along with scissors in case we needed to cut anything, and clear nail polish for securing the knot once we had the necklace finished.

My (Mercury)
Very (Venus)
Easy (Earth)
Method (Mars)
Just (Jupiter)
Speeds (Saturn)
Up (Uranus)
Naming (Neptune)
Planets (Pluto) ... we will debate whether it is a planet or not, but I am keeping it!

I think that's a halo above my head. WOW!

I know this looks weird but I had to cover up the face of a photo-bombing student for privacy just in case! Mine is missing the sun because there are 8 students and the sun beads only came in a string of 8.

My precious Eva wearing her necklace!
How did we do it? So easy.

I had each kid tie a double knot at the end of their string so the bead would not fall off while they were making their necklace.

Then we put the beads on in the right order and tied the necklace together at the top. If you use stretchy string, the key is to stretch it over and over at the knot site after you tie the knot. Double or triple tie and stretch, stretch, stretch (not too hard).

Then we put a dab of clear nail polish on the knot.

One kid made hers a bracelet, which is actually brilliant. One was going to take hers home and make it into a choker.

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