How to make Galaxy Art & “Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story”

born with a bang book and galaxy print under it

A Scientific Book & Galaxy Art!

After reading Jennifer Morgan’s “Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story” Book One (of three) a year ago; we paired it with a fun art project where we learned how to make teeny tiny stars using a toothbrush! 😮

Recently, we reread this fantastic book again & thought, “What if we make our galaxy art again; but this time GIANT sized?”. That’s exactly what we did and it was so much messy fun. I can’t wait to tell you about it, so, let’s get started…

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Summary of “Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story”

Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story” is written by Jennifer Morgan and has breathtaking illustrations by Dana Lynne Andersen. This book is the first in a series of three books.

It is written in the voice of the universe talking to a human, making comparisons between the birth of a baby and the birth of the universe, as well as, not being able to stay small just like a person cannot stay small. It talks about how the universe started out as “a tiny speck” with lots of dreams. Over the next 9 billion years (the timeframe this story covers) many of the dreams came to be a reality as the universe realized the power it held inside.

I love how well the whimsical illustrations tell the story. Each time you turn the page, one side holds a gorgeous illustration and the other has text. They do a great job of keeping a complex topic relatively simple and highlighting the words that hold the key message, which allows you to read just that part if your child isn’t ready for all of the details just yet. This story also contains a timeline along the top of each worded page so you can follow along where you are in the history of evolution. Definitely recommended.

How We Made Galaxy Art…

We tend to keep the activities as simple as possible around here. We’re not interested in complicated or costly. We are also all about fostering independence. For this activity we recreated the galaxy art we enjoyed making in the house a year ago; but took it outside on a much larger scale.

galaxy art painting

In the house we swirled pink, blue, and purple paint around with different paint brushes and our hands. Then we took a toothbrush, dipped it into white paint and flicked the paint onto the paper using our thumbs. This was something we both had to figure out; as we experimented with near/far, more paint/less paint, etc… That’s the best part of making art with your child; learning together. Even though I am a teacher by trade, and I’m a homeschool mom too, doesn’t mean I always have to play that role. In fact, I relish in the times I can join her in art or play and just be present with her, and take her lead.

black poster boards taped to tablecloth on white fence

The original galaxy art is something we remember fondly and definitely wanted to repeat another time. So today was the day!

GIANT Galaxy Art…

So this time we took things outdoors. we first hung a plastic tablecloth on the fence using tape. I didn’t want paint all over the fence. Next, we taped two big black poster boards on top of the tablecloth. Then, we grabbed the paint we wanted to use. She of course chose “unicorn colors”(pink, purple & blue) and glitter. I chose our blog colors (pink, yellow & orange).

hand holding paintbrush splattering pink paint on black poster board

We gathered the paintbrushes we wanted and some toothbrushes too. After the paint was squeezed into the bowls we gave each color its own brush and began splattering it at the black poster boards! Can I just say how freeing it is to fling paint at something (or someone, lol). Yes, after we splattered and smeared the paint onto our posters we splattered and smeared each other. :O

Did I mention the dress code? You know those clothes that they spill tomato sauce or chocolate or paint on and you think they are garbage and throw them away? Don’t…keep them for messy play 😉

hands rubbing pink paint on black poster board

Turns out the toothbrush flicking stars that worked in the house did not transfer well outside on a giant scale and especially because the posters were hung so trying to aim the flick of paint was a bit of a challenge. So we got firm bristle paintbrushes and used them instead and it worked pretty well.

Lastly, came the glitter bombs! We tossed glitter at that wall with enthusiasm I tell you, lol. Then at each other. 😮 Again, so much messy fun.

Wait?!? Am I Supposed to be Doing this Too?

hand holding paintbrush splattering blue paint on black poster board

I highly recommend getting hands on and doing art projects with your child. If you’d rather not, thats okay too, but please do not correct anything they do. If you want the art to look a certain way – make your own.

Especially if your child is little, its okay if it doesn’t look like what you imagined. Maybe its how they imagined it. Also, its a process. They are learning. They will learn more through trial and error than if you correct them or do it for them. All they will learn if you “help” is that they didn’t do a good enough job on their own or they can’t do it; not exactly the message you want to give your kid. Am I right?!?

hands rubbing blue paint on black poster board

Believe me, I know it can be really challenging to let them make “mistakes”. Try doing the project along side them. It will allow you to focus on your own work, give them appropriate modeling of how to use the materials, and show them that you like art too! A lot of what I talk about in “What about the Sensory Mess?” applies to Art projects as well, you might wanna check it out! I love how each galaxy print has its own cosmic look. I would suggest Giant Galaxy Art if you’re looking for an exciting, messy, outdoor art activity to connect with your child.


Shortly after we completed this project was my daughter’s birthday. If you’ve been following me on Instagram I’m sure you can guess what the theme of my daughter’s party was, lol. Yep, unicorns! So, we used these beautiful handmade galaxy paintings as decorations. My oldest wrote and cut out bubble letters saying, “I Heart Unicorns”. It really came out great; and now has a place in her room. I love using personalized decorations whenever possible 🙂

Materials We Used

  1. “Born with a Bang: The Universe Tells Our Cosmic Story” by Jennifer Morgan (from the library or buy it here)
  2. Plastic tablecloth
  3. Tape
  4. Black poster board
  5. Paint
  6. Paintbrushes
  7. Bowls to hold the paint
  8. Glue
  9. Glitter
    Click HERE for Free Printable copy (Email Subscribers Only)

How to Make Galaxy Art?

  1. Gather the materials.
  2. Bring them outside.
  3. Tape the tablecloth to the fence (or lay it out on the ground).
  4. Tape the black poster board onto the center of the tablecloth (or lay it on the center of the tablecloth on the ground).
  5. Squeeze the paint into the bowls.
  6. Get a paintbrush.
  7. Dip the paintbrush into the paint.
  8. Fling the paint off the paintbrush by moving your arm in a throwing motion with the tip of the brush aimed at the poster board.
  9. Rub the splattered paint around the poster board with your hands (or the brush).
  10. Go on to the next color of paint.
  11. Repeat steps 8 & 9 until all the paint colors you chose are used.
  12. Take a firm bristled paintbrush.
  13. Dip it into the white paint.
  14. Stand close to the poster board.
  15. Flick the bristles so that white paint splatters into tiny dots (a.k.a. stars) onto the board.
  16. While the paint is still wet; take a handful of glitter and throw it at the poster board. *Note: if you’re like us and wait too long (because you’re busy splattering paint at each other 😉 ) then…
    a. Squeeze some glue onto your hand and pat it on top of the painted poster board.
    b. Wipe/wash your hand clean.
    c. Take a handful of glitter and throw it at the poster board.

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Wait, There’s More…

Sample of “Communicating & Connecting FREE Bonus Printable.

I believe you can easily strengthen communication skills and foster independence all while playing and connecting with your child. To help you do this; I’ve created a FREE printable for each activity called, “Communicating & Connecting”.

It will give you a list of suggestions I’ve found very helpful as a Mom & as a special education teacher; to help you build lifelong skills. Please don’t feel obligated to do everything on the list (but if you do, you’re a rockstar 😉 ).

As a Thank You for subscribing; this is a special FREEBIE for our Email Subscribers Only. 🙂 Click here if you’ve already subscribed. Otherwise, Sign Up below to get the password & access to our entire FREE Printables Library today! 😉

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