This activity focuses on a close-up of Saturn's rings. The children enjoyed cutting up "ice chunks, rocks and dust particles" out of strips of craft paper.
You may have to prepare a few things before the children can begin:
Cut out circles from construction paper, about the size of an outer rim of a soup bowl. Then cut out an elipse shape that is about the entire length of a piece of construction paper. Fold the elipse in half, and cut a slit from the center fold, 2 or 3 inches down. Open it up and make sure one of the circles can fit through it (see image below) Cut out a couple of long strips of scrap paper with a width a little less than an inch. We used some funky animal print paper to make things colorful and abstract. I rarely measure things out and just cut things out freehand, so hopefully the images help! Below, I added glue ahead of time, but you can always have the kids do that as well.
Offer scissors to each child to cut the strips into "ice chunks, rocks and dust," or simply tell them to tear the paper up if they are not quite ready for scissors yet. Have them place their chunks on the glued surface of the ellipse, offer colored pencils and/or chalk for Saturn, then slide it half way through the ellipse, add some glue or tape to keep it in place and there you have it.
The kids had lots of fun trying to make their planet look original by using different colored scraps and construction paper. If you want to teach some more basics about Saturn and any other planets, here is a great kids site that I recently came across: