What Is a Way to Build a Working Model of the Solar System?

One of the easiest ways to build a working model of the solar system is to suspend the sun and planets in their orbits from a circular piece of cardboard. Draw circles on the cardboard to represent the planets' orbits and hang each planet from the cardboard on a piece of fishing line.

Supplies for this project include a heavy piece of cardboard, clear fishing line, scissors and a black marker. Styrofoam balls of different sizes or construction paper are used to make the planets, and a compass is used to draw the orbital lines on the cardboard circle.

Measure and cut out a cardboard circle approximately 12 inches across. Find the center of the circle, which is where the sun hangs. Use a compass to draw eight circular orbital lines. Using the point of a pair of scissors, make small holes, one on each orbital line and one in the center, from which to hang the sun and planets.

Crafters can use either Styrofoam circles of varying sizes or construction paper for this step. Use a reference sheet to ensure the sizes of the sun and planets are representative of their place in the solar system. For example, the sun is the largest while Mercury or Pluto is the smallest. Hang the sun and planets along the orbital lines, in order, with clear fishing line.