User login

The Size and Distance of the Planets

Source Institutions

    The Center for Science Education @ Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley

Add to listGo to activity
The Size and Distance of the Planets

In this activity, learners investigate the concepts of relative size and distance by creating a basic model of the solar system. Learners will work at one end of a hallway, large room or outdoor space. Learners will predict the distance of each planet from the Sun and then use toilet paper to measure the actual distances. This activity will help learners comprehend the immense scale of the solar system.

Quick Guide

Preparation Time:
Under 5 minutes

Learning Time:
30 to 45 minutes

Estimated Materials Cost:
1 cent - $1 per group of students

Age Range:
Ages 6 - 14

Resource Types:
Activity, Model


Materials List (per group of students)


  • Earth and Space Science
    • Astronomy
      • Size and Scale
    • Solar System
      • The Sun
      • The Planets
  • Mathematics
    • Measurement
      • Size and Scale

Informal Categories

  • Outdoor Activity
  • Model Building


To use this activity, learners need to:

  • see
  • read
  • be mobile
  • touch

Learning styles supported:

  • Involves hands-on or lab activities


Components that are part of this resource:

This resource is part of:

Access Rights:

  • Free access



  • All Rights Reserved, UC Regents, ©2001


User Lists

This resource is part of these lists: