Easy DIY Astronaut Dog for Kids Who Adore Space

I really must be going crazy. I just spent several days wondering how to make a spacesuit for a toy dog.
I’d made a fun Mars rover craft to go with the picture book Max Goes to Mars – and sent it over to
Cerys at Rainy Day Mum for a guest post on her blog. (I’d love it if you go check it out!)


Since the book features a dog who travels in space, I really wanted to make a little dog astronaut who could go along with the rover. I just couldn’t figure out how to do it.



Astronaut Dog

Max Goes to Mars is about a dog named
–you guessed it — Max, who goes to Mars.
My kids
love elaborating stories we read when they’re doing pretend play, and Isabella
adores puppies and space. So I kept thinking and thinking about how to make a space dog for her.
Finally, I hit on an idea to try.


We’d had a lot of fun with puffy paint earlier in the summer. It seemed like the right substance to cover a plastic dog in to give it the look of a spacesuit.
Who Goes to Mars?
I went looking for a little plastic dog, preferably one that looked like Max in the book.
No go. We have approximately 73 plastic safari animals and 12 marine mammals in a nice little storage container. We also have 2 tiny human astronauts and an itty bitty space shuttle. But no dog.
So I settled for a lion. Why not? He looks sort of dog-like, except with a mane….Well, he has 4 feet like a dog, and I was going to cover the rest of his body with puffy paint.
Incidentally, he made a cameo appearance here once before, in a sight word game.

Puffy Paint Goes to Space
I mixed up a 50/50 mix of shaving cream and washable school glue. I painted it onto the lion and stood him on waxed paper to dry.
Then all the paint ran down in a puddle at his feet.
I used a craft knife to cut off the excess, and it started to look more spacesuit-like.  All it was missing was a helmet. My girls were dying to play “space” with him, but for days I insisted he wasn’t done
I thought about all the little miscellaneous junk at the back of drawers and the bottom of toy boxes, but never could land on anything that could be used as a helmet. Oh well. This space dog was for imaginary play. We’d just have to imagine the helmet part.
My girls will imagine that salt and pepper shakers, pens, and Popsicle sticks are people, so they didn’t have any trouble imagining a helmet.


Their lion-dog was ready to explore the red planet! (If you want to know how to make the rocky Martian play surface, check out my guest post for that too.)

In the end, painting plastic animals with this type of puffy paint is pretty easy – as long as you don’t need space-agency precision. We could easily paint spacesuits onto a whole menagerie of a crew.I may be crazy, but sometimes crazy is a whole lot of fun!

For more fun ideas for your space-loving child, you may like to check out my Pinterest board full of STEM ideas.


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