Early learning about space exploration and our solar system can be really fascinating for children. We compiled a list of some of the best space toys for kids (and solar system toys) just in time to get a head-start on your 2019 Christmas shopping.
This year, instead of piling up toys and video games under the tree, Santa has something else in mind. Give the gift of space, a boundless subject.
Who knows, maybe your child will aspire to pursue a career in science as the result of the gift you give them.
These gifts are ideal for kids who are fascinated by the skies, curious about science, NASA, science fiction, space ships, galaxies, the sun, earth, solar systems, and everything in between. And if none of the above, you can be the one to introduce them to the magic of space. Imagine how it might change their life.
Inspirational Fun with Space Toys
Let’s get real, kids spend way too much time in front of screens these days. They’re being conditioned to push buttons on a screen to get a hit of dopamine. If you’re a parent, it’s your responsibility to inspire them and teach them that learning is fun, and provides its own rewards.
Learning takes a little effort but in the long run, it’s a far better way to live ones life. Kids will take the path of least resistance if left to their own devices. Inspire a child with educational toys.
Toys with an educational value can provide a more meaningful source of entertainment for children by building educational skills. We find these particularly beneficial in learning about the universe around us through interactive hands-on play. The focus on learning and education is provided in a fun way that can instill a love for science while also incorporating STEM activity.
When kids enter into preschool and grade school they will likely be introduced to the S.T.E.M. principles (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) or at least participate in activities that follow these principles. What’s unique in this approach as opposed to teaching each of these specific areas separately, is that it brings science and math together.
These principles are often used in space activities as well. Participating in activities related to space and science are often found fascinating to young learners. This provides a great element to their development by introducing logical techniques they’ll experience in their day-to-day lives.
Best Space Toys for kids
There is so much to learn about the planets in our solar system among other elements in space. When presented in a new and exciting activity, the best solar system toys for kids can shape young minds to learn amazing discoveries. The toys listed here provide great teaching concepts that inspire young minds to explore and learn about the world beyond them.
Learning Resources Shining Stars Projector, Solar System
Recommended ages: 3 and up
This projector gives a new view of the planets right in your child’s room. Visual projections of the stars, planets, and even spacewalks can be projected as big as the room allows. It comes with 3 discs featuring 24 images of the solar system and space exploration. An activity guide also comes with the projector to help young learners become familiar with the planets in the solar system. This is great for an interactive bedtime activity with images they can go on to dream about. There is an auto shut-off feature to conserve the battery.
Melissa & Doug Solar System Floor Puzzle
Recommended ages: 3 to 6 years
- 48 extra-thick cardboard pieces to piece together some fun
- Beautiful original artwork
- Easy-Clean surface keeps puzzle looking new
- Promotes hand-eye coordination and problem-solving skills
- 2 feet x 3 feet when assembled
This floor puzzle consists of 48 thick cardboard pieces that are easy to assemble to create a beautiful original art display of our solar system. Puzzles are great tools for fine-tuning hand-eye coordination and encourages logical thinking and problem solving skills. Each planet is labeled to help children learn and recognize the planets in our solar system. The puzzle pieces are also made with an easy-to-clean surface to keep it looking great for long lasting quality.
Discovery Kids Planetarium Projector for Children with Rotating Stars
Recommended ages: 4 years and up
- View stars, galaxies, planets, and spaceships.
- Two projector modes: stationary and moving. Two-sided. The moving side has two layered translucent domes that rotate slowly, projecting moving stars onto any surface for a truly immersive celestial experience!
- 32 photo slides on 4 reel discs. Use the slides with the stationary projector side: insert the disc and you can project the images onto a wall. Manually rotate the reel to view the next slide.
- Adjustable stand and unique space station design: with colors and details modeled after real life spaceship and observatory equipment.
- Great gift idea for any child curious about science, NASA, planets, astronomy, spaceships, galaxies, solar systems and anything else related to space.
Turn any room into a captivating show of the galaxy with this Planetarium projector. It features two different modes to display the slides. In stationary mode, you can view the slides by inserting one of the 4 discs included to project images onto a wall or ceiling. There are 32 images total featuring planets, moons and galaxies. The moving mode displays rotating stars throughout the room using 2 translucent domes to create a fascinating show. The projector is mounted on its own stand and operates on batteries so there are no cords to deal with.
Great Explorations 3-D Solar System
Recommended ages: 3 and up
- Stargaze at the celestial sky in your own room!
- Comes with a host of fascinating planetary facts
- Includes over 200 glow-in-the-dark planets and stars to hang from your ceiling, all with our lifetime glow guarantee
- The glow-in-the-dark stars are very bright, made with proprietary Glominite formula
This 3-D set brings the wonder and fascination about the planets right into your child’s room. It comes with 9 planets (including Pluto) and over 200 adhesive stars. The planets as well as the stars glow in the dark! The planets can be hung from the ceiling and adhesive stars applied wherever you wish to create a celestial experience. Clear string and sticky tack is included for hanging up the planets. This set also comes with a guide that is packed with interesting facts on the planets in our solar system to encourage learning about their unique characteristics.
Learning Resources Giant Inflatable Solar System
Recommended ages: 3 and up
- Demonstrate rotation, revolution, and orbit in 3D
- Washable solar system set.
- Teach the position, order, size, and shape of the planets and sun
- Create an out-of-this-world playroom or bedroom
- Each colorful planet (and sun) inflates easily
- Loops included for easy hanging
- Turns any room into an intergalactic experience
Here’s a fun set that provides a great tactile and visual learning experience on the solar system. The large inflatable set features all of the planets as well as the sun and the moon. Each one has a hook to hang them from the ceiling and teach early learners the order of the planets. The planets are proportioned by size relative to each of the planets in the solar system, although not scaled. In other words- it’s clear that the sun is larger than all of the planets, next to Jupiter – the largest planet in the solar system. Planets also feature characteristics that help to identify them such as craters on Mercury and the red spot on Jupiter. The kit includes a foot pump to inflate them, a repair kit, and an activity guide.
Learning Resources Gears! Gears! Gears! Space Explorers Building Set
Recommended ages: 4 to 10 years
- Fosters imagination and provides opportunities to design and build structures while experimenting with simple mechanics and science
- Supports STEM learning : Teaches sorting, grouping, counting, design, and construction
- 80 pieces includes : astronauts, planets, sun, spaceship, flag, colorful stickers, and more
- Ages 4+
This set actually brings multiple skill sets to the table. The space explorers set is the newest line up in the Gears! Gears! Gears! series introducing simple mechanics to budding space enthusiasts. The set comes with 80 pieces featuring astronauts, a spaceship, flag, the sun, moon, planets and stickers to include the solar system. The gears concept offers open-ended play they can build on to create their own spinning designs or put the planets into orbit. There’s an activity guide also included.
Activities and Books on Space for Kids
Activity sets and books about space provide further learning and value for space enthusiasts. These go hand in hand with some of the best solar system toys for kids. We’ve featured some of the best space toys to further engage their curiosity and love of science.
Jack-in-the-box Space Explorer| 6 Activities-in-1 Kit
Recommended ages: 5 and up
- Starry Kaleidoscope: Ever wondered what a clear starry night looks like? Make your own kaleidoscope and see for yourself.
- Solar System Wind Chime: Make a colorful wind chime for your room while you learn about the planets in our solar system.
- Lace The Constellation Pull along your string to join the dots and make a constellation streamer for your window.
- Rocket Science Experiment: What does it feel like to be a space scientist? Make your own rocket, fuel it, and watch it take off!
- Space Explorer Board Game Invite your friends to an adventurous and thrilling journey through the Milky Way!
- Phases Of The Moon: Use Oreo cookies to lick off the cream and understand the different phases that the moon goes through during the month. (Ingredients Not Included)
This box comes with 6 different activities for your little space explorer to embark on. It comes with supplies and accessories to build a kaleidoscope, perform a rocket experiment, create a wind chime of the solar system, and string starry constellations. A board game is also featured to invite friends or family to play along on a journey through the Milky Way. There’s even a fun and tasty activity mentioned using oreos (not included) to learn about the different phases of the moon. This activity is equipped with enough fun and exciting activities to keep them entertained and make space learning fun.
LEGO City — Space Mars Research Shuttle (60226)
Recommended ages: 5 and up
- Includes 2 LEGO City astronaut mini-figures.
- Features a space research shuttle with opening cockpit, 2 large opening doors and space inside for the storage drone
- Includes NASA-inspired Mars rover with articulated grappling arm, laser and tilting solar panels, storage drone with opening compartment, plus a helidrone with spinning rotor blade and scanner to read a secret symbol discovered on Mars!
- Accessories : Helmet with blue visor, Extra Vehicular Activity suit with golden visor, scanner and 2 new-for-June-2019 geodes with blue crystals.
- Use the LEGO® Life app to access the intuitive Instructions PLUS building instructions. Help even younger builders through the building process, with easy-to-use zoom, rotate and ghost-mode functions to visualize their creations as they go.
Among some of the best space toys for kids are models or replicas of actual spacecraft and gear. It offers a great opportunity for kids to learn about the real deal. This LEGO City set allows young space enthusiasts the creativity and freedom to build and construct a space shuttle. Additional spacecraft are featured as well including a Mars rover and helidrone.
Two astronaut mini-figures are featured to inspire imagination as young builders can create their own adventures with the models they build. Many of the accessories move such as the grappling arm on the rover to retrieve geodes and shuttle bay doors that open. An instruction booklet is included to guide builders on how to assemble the models.
LEGO Ideas — Women of NASA (21312)
Recommended ages: 10 and up
- Includes 4 mini-figures: Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison.
- Features 3 LEGO builds illustrating the areas of expertise of the 4 featured women of NASA.
- Nancy Grace Roman’s build features a posable Hubble Space Telescope with authentic details and a projected image of a planetary nebula.
- Margaret Hamilton’s build features a stack of book elements, representing the books of listings of Apollo Guidance Computer (AGC) onboard flight software source code.
- Sally Ride and Mae Jemison’s build features a launchpad and Space Shuttle Challenger with 3 removable rocket stages.
- Printed nameplates for each of the 4 women
- Great for role-playing space exploration missions.
- Includes a booklet with building instructions, plus information about the 4 featured women of NASA, the set’s fan creator and the LEGO designers.
This LEGO set is a great space toy for kids providing a valuable learning experience on the 4 legendary women of NASA. Featured in this set are minifigures of Nancy Grace Roman, Margaret Hamilton, Sally Ride and Mae Jemison. These women of NASA were professionals in science, technology, and engineering and astronauts. The set comes with 3 builds that present each of these women’s achievements.
The space shuttle Challenger and launchpad build features 3 removable rocket stages. There is a guide also included with information on the women and their areas of expertise. The set makes a great conversation starter and encourages role playing for children and adults alike that share a love for making space discoveries.
LEGO Ideas — NASA Apollo Saturn V (21309)
Recommended ages: 14 and up
- Features a meter-high (approximately 1:110 scale) model of the NASA Apollo Saturn V with a removable S-IC first rocket stage with main rocket engine details, removable S-II second rocket stage with rocket engine details, removable S-IVB third rocket stage with the Apollo spacecraft and rescue rocket at top of the whole spacecraft, plus 3 stands to display the model horizontally.
- The Apollo spacecraft features the lunar lander and the lunar orbiter.
- Great for display and role-playing the manned Apollo Moon missions.
- Includes a booklet about the manned Apollo Moon missions and the fan designers of this set.
- This set includes over 1,900 pieces.
- Measures over 39″ (100cm) high and 6” (17cm) in diameter.
This model space toy brings NASA fans one step closer to landing on the moon. While it’s not exactly a toy for young children to play with, it does present a great bonding opportunity. The NASA Apollo Saturn V brick model consists of 1900 LEGO pieces which display a replica of the rocket that landed us on the moon. There are 3 removable rocket stages to demonstrate and role play the launching and take-off into outer space.
The set also includes the lunar lander and lunar orbiter. Once assembled it can be displayed horizontally on 3 stands that come with it. It also comes with 3 astronaut mini-figures for role playing missions on moon landings. A booklet is included with interesting and educational facts on actual Apollo missions.
National Geographic — Little Kids First Big Book of Space
Recommended ages: 4 – 8 years
National Geographic features a specific line of Little Kids First Big Book series. This one in particular is a great starter for young learners. It depicts colorful illustrations and written in simple text that is easy for beginner readers. There are short stories on the planets, stars and galaxies for a fun learning experience that is easy to understand. This 128-page hardcover book provides a great read-aloud book with chapters that introduce different elements starting with an introduction to familiar planets to space explorations.
There’s No Place Like Space : All About Our Solar System
BOOK : Cat in the Hat’s Learning Library : Ages: 4 to 8
Take a trip to outer space with Cat in the Hat in this book from the Learning Library series. It has been revised with the exclusion of Pluto from the solar system. In this book, Cat in the Hat takes a journey through the solar system rhyming along the way fun facts on each planet. If your child is a fan of Cat in the Hat, they’ll also be familiar with Thing One, Thing Two, and Dick and Sally who join Cat in his adventure. The 48-page hardcover book features cartoon-like illustrations and written in rhyming couplets.
Truth be told- it’s never too early to introduce space and science to children. We find space and the solar system pretty cool and with these toys and activities there is a world of learning possibilities. As they grow older and reach preschool ages they can learn and gain valuable skills along the way with the best solar system toys featured above. There is much to learn and gain from space toys for kids as well as providing fun bonding time between parents and children.