When was the last time you recited the order of the planets of the solar system?
It’s been a while, right? So when we started working on learning the solar system with Pooh recently, I had to do a little…ahem…refreshing myself on the topic.
In the last few years, scientists have decided that Pluto no longer qualifies as a planet. I take great umbrage at this opinion.
Pluto has been a loyal planet to us for the past 80 years. Breaking up with it now just seems….wrong. Still, we must march along with the progress of science.
So, for those of you who could also use a refresher on the solar system, I decided to add a new entry to our free printable flashcards series: printable solar system flashcards!
These would be excellent for early science centers or for use with an outer space unit.
Read on to see how to get your set for free!
And, for more about the solar system, don’t miss our All About the Solar System Printable Science Lesson and our roundup of beautiful Solar System Books for Kids!
Free Printable Flashcards: Solar System Flashcards
To use these free printable solar system flashcards, you’ll need the following: (Affiliate links are used below. For details, see our Disclosure Policy.)
This set of solar system flashcards includes 12 cards:
- Pluto (still included if you want to discuss it as a dwarf planet)
- and Star
The goal is for kids to learn, not only the planets, but the other important members of the solar system and where they are located.
Plus, there is a full blackline set available! These would be awesome for in-class coloring activities.
Simple Hands-On Solar System Learning Activity
Instead of just making the printable solar system flashcards, I wanted to show you a simple, hands-on activity you can use them to do.
If you have active students or if you just want to add a little spice to your lesson, try this to help kids learn the order of the planets!
(Note: These pictures show an earlier version of the flashcards, but the activity works with the new set too.)
You’ll need the printed flashcard set, some masking tape, nine strands of yarn, and a flat surface.
Use masking tape to secure each end of each strand to the surface.
Try to get the yarn into a rough arc shape. We’re going for planetary orbit lines.
Then, have the kids lay out the planet cards in the right order, starting with the sun and progressing outward.
My son was having some trouble recalling the planet order, so we used the mnemonic device: My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos.
My – Mercury
Very – Venus
Eager – Earth
Mother – Mars
Just – Jupiter
Served – Saturn
Us – Uranus
Nachos – Neptune
*If you include Pluto, you can add Playfully – Pluto.*
It’s weird, but it works! Especially since I always seem to get Jupiter and Saturn backwards.
Naturally, we had to add the sun and moon in there too.
Be sure to remind your students that the sun and moon are NOT planets. I may have forgotten to make this distinction…lol.
All done! And in order, at that!
That’s the face of a kid who knows he’s accomplished something.
When we finished labeling them all in order, we had he recite them in order on his own. Once he remembered My Very Eager Mother Just Served Us Nachos, he was good.
This was definitely a fun way to learn about the planets of the solar system!
For more ways to learn about the solar system, check out these other teaching ideas!
- Hands On Astronomy: Solar System in Playdough from Planet Smarty Pants
- Blast-Off Number Line Math Practice from School Time Snippets
- Solar System Matching Game from Life Over C’s
- Outer Space Math Maze with ReGrouping from Sugar Aunts
- Engineering Challenge: A Candy Solar System from Preschool Powol Packets
Don’t miss these other science learning ideas!
To get our free printable flashcards: Solar System Flashcards, click the image or the link below to have them sent to your email inbox!
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