In this guide:
Our kids are naturally curious about the world around them. Even if you live in a big city, kids can become mindful of the moon’s phases and easily learn to spot Orion’s Belt.
In this article, we’ve done the nerdy research to bring you a round-up of the best solar system toys on the market.
This mobile is battery operated and runs for about half an hour before automatically shutting off. The sun provides a soft enough light to work as a nightlight, and the auto shutoff means the three C batteries required to operate it are not wasted.
It attaches to the ceiling, and the planets rotate around the lit sun at different speeds, like they do in our galaxy. It can be operated with a remote control and has a code to use on the manufacturer’s website for an audio tour of the solar system.
- Auto-off feature
- Beautiful night light with learning opportunities
- Recommended for age 6 and up
4M offers a couple of kits for crafty kids who enjoy painting and putting things together (or who have parents who like helping).
The Planetarium is a tabletop set that can be assembled with the planets on rods or you could go with the glow in the dark mobile if that’s more your style. The mobile version works really nicely when coupled with a star projector. Together they transform a bedroom into a fully immersive space experience.
Recommended for kids over 7, if they’re going to be doing most of the work on their own. If you’re the big kid in the equation, as long as your little ones are past the choking hazard stage, they’ll enjoy the fruits of your labor.
- Suitable for age 7 and up
- Perfect for family craft time (in which case, younger children can be involved)
At under $10, this little kit includes 8 hand-painted planets and a sun. It comes with a tray that holds each of the planets in their correct orbit, and they are removable so kids can examine them up close and imagine their own stories.
Since the planets are on the small side, definitely keep this one away from babies and toddlers. The manufacturer recommends 7 and up.
- Detailed and realistic models
- Recommended for age 7 and up
This set includes eight planets, Pluto, the Sun, Earth’s moon, the asteroid belt, and a guide. Ages 5 and up can enjoy the realistically colored magnets and have fun arranging them on any surface they’ll adhere to (you may find planets in unexpected locations as the young astronauts try sticking them to everything in the house).
If you have a magnetic whiteboard, they’re perfect for doing lessons on the fly using the included activity guide.
These magnets are sturdy so you should get tons of playtime and learning out of them.
- Designed for age 5 and up
- Included lessons
This big floor puzzle is perfect for kids as young as 3. The large, thick cardboard pieces are easy to clean and simple to assemble.
This puzzle helps younger kids build up their hand-eye coordination while enjoying a brightly colored picture of the different things in our solar system.
Everything in the puzzle is named, and if your young ones aren’t reading yet, it’s a great opportunity to help them learn a few new words.
The perspective of the solar system is angled from Earth’s moon, but the planets are in the correct order.
This puzzle is well-made and is likely to last long enough to pass down to younger siblings.
- Recommended for age 3 and up
- Good gift for young kids and expecting moms
They’re not kidding about it being giant. Including eight planets, Pluto, the Sun, Earth’s moon, and a repair kit, foot pump, and activity guide, you’ll have everything you’ll need to inflate your own solar system and have some fun.
Each inflatable has a little loop you can thread some fishing line through if you want to hang them from the ceiling, or you can keep them on the floor to let your kids move them around and play.
At under $25, you get a lot of planet for your buck. Just make sure your house is big enough to accommodate them!
- Suitable for age 5 and up
- Can be used as ceiling decor or floor play