Planet Order Activity

Learn about the planets by reading a book. Then try our planet order activity to make a model of the solar system. Place the planets in order and have some fun with pretend play! Affiliate links are included in this post. Thank you for supporting Inspiration Laboratories.

Place the planets in order and make a solar system model.

Read about the Planets

Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun by Marianne Berkes is a current favorite in our house. I love this quote by Neil deGrasse Tyson about the book: “If the Sun were a poet, then Going Around the Sun captures just what it would say to its beloved family of planets.” Berkes has written the book in the style of the poem Over in the Meadow by Olive A. Wadsworth.

Up in outer space
In a great galaxy.
Lived an old Mother Sun,
And her planet, Mercury.

“Whirl.” said the Mother.
“I whirl.” said the One.
So it whirled and it twirled
As it went around the Sun.

The actions of the planets are scientifically correct. Mercury whirls, or orbits around the Sun. Other planets sparkle, tilt, spin, roll, etc. The actions of each planet are described at the bottom of each page. The back of the book has more information about our solar system and each of the planets.

The art in the book is simply beautiful. The illustrator, Janeen Mason, created the backgrounds with melted crayons. This book is a must read for any space enthusiast.

Planet Order Activity

Inspired by the book, Aiden wanted to place the planets in order. I suggested we use balls to represent each of the planets. He set out to find the perfect ball to represent each planet.


  • an assortment of balls to use as planets {need at least 8}
  • large ball to represent the Sun
  • pom poms to represent dwarf planets and asteroids {We used the pom poms sent to us by}
  • lots of space

Our model of the solar system was not to scale. If you are looking to make an accurate scale model of the solar system, check out this solar system model calculator from the Exploratorium.

Aiden used Going Around the Sun: Some Planetary Fun as well as The Planets by Gail Gibbons to choose planets for his model. He already knew the order of the planets, but it was still fun practice for him.

Order the Planets

He chose balls based on their relative size and some for their color. {The Earth had to have its moon.}

Aiden added asteroids to the asteroid belt. He spread out the rest of the pom poms on the floor and asked, “what’s the other place where asteroids are?” “The Kuiper belt,” I answered. “Yeah, these are the Kuiper belt,” he stated.


After we set up the solar system, Aiden proceeded to bombard Saturn and Jupiter with asteroids. That’s how Saturn got it’s rings you know…

Practice placing the planets in order using balls.

{Past Neptune, you’ll see dwarf planet Pluto and its moon Charon as well as dwarf planet Eris. Dwarf planet Ceres is somewhere in the asteroid belt.}

Do your kids love learning about the solar system? What activities have you done?

More Space Themed Activities

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This post was originally published on July 11, 2014.


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