Rubbing Plates Planets

Feature-Image-rubplateplanetGet ready for the Lyrids Meteor Shower on April 21st and 22nd! This art activity is a great way to introduce astronomy to your students and talk about the significance of the upcoming meteor shower. Lead into a unit on astronomy in science class or continue exploring creative space art with your class!

Duration: 15-20 minutes

Age range: 3-7

You’ll need:

• R5841 Optical Illusion Rubbing Plates

• R5419 Paint Bellows

• Black card paper

• Photocopy paper

• Pencil crayons or markers

• Scissors

• Glue

• White paint

• Cotton swabs

Line-09Although this activity is mostly about making space and planet art, you can add in a few meteors to your artwork using the cotton swab technique I show below. But for now, let’s get started!

_3080944Lay out all your materials! I would start out by painting the space background for your artwork as it will need to take some time drying. While it dries, create the rubbing plate planet art.

_3080947Dip your cotton swab into the white paint. Gently dab it all over the black card paper.

_3080952Next, fill the R5419 Paint Bellow with the white paint. Now is the time to make your space background pop out with clusters of stars! Hold the paint bellow right above the black card. Your index fingers should be encircling the spout of the bellow. Push down on the back of the bellow to make it release a puff of paint onto the canvas! 

_3080956Use the bottom of cans, water bottles or jars to make different size circles. Place your cylinder onto the sheet of paper and trace the bottom to make a circle. This will make the different planets. 

_3080958Place your rubbing plate design beneath the sheet of paper. Use the side of a crayon to rub over sections of the circles. If you look at reference pictures of planets in our solar system, you’ll see that they’re made up of a variety of different colors due to the natural arrangement of gases in the atmosphere. Create the same effect in your planet illustrations by varying the rubbing plate designs beneath the sheet of paper and alternating different crayon colors.

_3080964As you can see in the photo, I’ve used different colors for the planets and changed up the rubbing plate design. The planets look so unique!

_3080970Once you are finished coloring and rubbing in all the planets, cut them out along the traced line. Paste them in varying spots throughout your starry space canvas!

_3080987You can overlap a few of them to give the illustration some depth.


I hope you enjoyed this fun project in coordination with the upcoming Lyrids Meteor Shower. Send us photos of your work or of any shooting stars if you’re lucky enough to catch one! Contact us through the contact form.

This entry was posted in Art, Science and tagged , , , , , , , , , by roylcoblog. Bookmark the permalink.

About roylcoblog

We love art! After 40 years, we continue to be a leader in innovative and unique art materials. Our mission is to help teachers make educating children exciting, engaging and creative. We demonstrate our commitment to teachers through the quality and affordability of our products. We lead the industry in innovation and design. Our belief is that healthy learning comes from healthy minds and bodies. For over 40 years, Roylco has been creating unique and innovative hands-on products in art, science, math, special needs, literacy, socials studies and early childhood that will engage children as well as empower teachers and parents. Our product line consists of over 400 products in a variety of educational subjects that meet the National Standards.

Leave us a comment!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s