I’m sharing how to make a Solar System threading game. Threading games are great for developing fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, concentration, and patience. Inspiration for this project comes from my son. He is learning about planets and adores space. Watch the video tutorial above and continue reading for the written version.Quick safety warning: The project involves small pieces and a cord. This is a potential choking hazard for young children.
Step 1: Gather the Tools and Supplies!
The following items are the tools and supplies you’ll need to make the solar system threading game. (affiliate links)
- Saw (hand or power)
- Scroll saw (or jigsaw or coping saw)
- Drill (with a drill guide or preferably a drill press)
- 3/8" Spade drill bit
- 1/16" drill bit
- Vise (I used my JawHorse)
Step 2: Cut Out Shapes for the Sun and Planets
I wanted a very cartoony look for my solar system. I sketched lumpy circles for each planet and the sun. While the planets aren’t drawn to scale, I did try to size them such that Jupiter was the largest circle (after the sun) and Mercury was the smallest circle.
Use a scroll saw, jigsaw or a coping saw to cut out each planet and the sun.
Step 3: Drill Holes for Through Each Planet
Drill 3/8″ holes through each planet. I used a spade bit. If you do not use a 1/4" dowel, adjust the size of the hole such that it's a size up from the with of the dowel.
Drill a 1/16″ hole approximately a 1/4″ deep in one end of the dowel and on one side of the sun. This will be used to secure the string.
Step 4: Paint the Planets and the Sun
Sand the surface of the planets and sun. Apply primer if necessary.
Paint each planet and sun with a solid layer of the most predominate color.
Follow up with a new layer of paint capture details and features of each planet and the sun. Look at pictures of the solar system as a reference. I wanted a cartoony look for my solar system. Once I painted the details I went back and painted happy faces on each planet and the sun.
Finally, protect the paint with a coat of sealer.
Step 5: Secure the String
Apply a strong adhesive to each 1/16″ hole and insert the cord. I used a piece of leather cord that I had on hand. Allow the glue to dry completely before handling.