Monday, June 13, 2011

Planets Winding Word Puzzle

This activity was inspired by a game on the back of a kid’s meal menu. No joke. 

I used a book my son picked out earlier this year at the school book fair on the 8 planets in our solar system, to produce a series of word clues.

Before we started the puzzle, we read "8 Spinning Planets" by Brian James. Then, I explained the activity and gave my son his markers to get started. He needed to begin at the START square and count spaces down, right or left following each line of the directions, and write down the words he landed on as he wound his way around the puzzle page. The words formed a complete sentence – a clue – about one of the planets in our solar system. An example follows:
Right 4 spaces.
Down 3 spaces.
Left 4 spaces.
Down 3 spaces.
Right 6 spaces.
CLUE: You call this planet home.

When my son landed on the correct space, he colored it using a different color for each clue. He crossed off each line of the directions after it was completed. After he wrote all the words from the clue down, he answered, "What planet am I?" When he wasn't absolutely sure of the answer, we looked back at the book.

I wrote clues for all 8 planets, although our time was limited and we only completed the first three. The clues and answers follow:

#1  Icy rocks make up my rings. ANSWER: SATURN
#2  I am made of gas and spin on my side. ANSWER: URANUS
#3  I am the red planet with two moons. ANSWER: MARS
#4  I spin fast and am the biggest planet. ANSWER: JUPITER
#5  It is hot and dry here every day. ANSWER: VENUS
#6  I am the closest planet to the sun. ANSWER: MERCURY
#7  You call this planet home. ANSWER: EARTH
#8  It is cold here since I am so far from the sun. ANSWER: NEPTUNE

Download your own Planets Winding Word Puzzle Grid and Directions today. This was a fun activity that combined counting, reading, learning about space, right/left practice and writing.

You can do this activity on virtually any topic, using any short sentences that you’d like. A blank winding word puzzle grid is available for download here.


  1. Amazing activity--you can tell he loves working with you as everything you do is fun!

  2. I've been thinking about doing something similar for my kids. Great minds think alike......

    Thanks for linking up to Science Sunday!