As we looked through pictures of the solar system, I noticed the girls seemed intrigued by comets. So we looked up more about comets. We learned that they actually have 2 tails, a dust tail and an gas tail which get brighter the closer it gets to the sun.
|Image from Nasa|
We also learned that a comets orbit is more elliptical then a planet. To demonstrate this a little better I made some balls into comets by taping a blue streamer and a yellow streamer to them. Then I had the girls toss the balls over a larger ball (the sun) placed on top of the water table. The result was a much longer orbit then the circular ones of a planet. I tried to get them to throw it underhand to complete the orbit, but they wouldn't for some reason.
Then they decided it was just as much fun to run in a big oval around the water table while holding their comets.
Eventually the tails got a bit tattered, especially if Eli got a hold of them, but they had fun with their comets until then. They were even making them talk to each other once they were done flying them around (everything talks in their world).