Space Month in Genius Tangram: Learn About “Planets” Composer Gustav Holst and Make Space Art At Home

May 27, 2021 / DIY & Printable

Genius content refreshes every month! This month, journey with Osmo into the far-out world of space and the Geniuses who’ve helped us understand it. We’ve put together special game updates, real-life genius stories, and real-world activities to assist you.

Share this week’s interactive, printable Space Month content with your child by clicking the button below, and scroll down for a preview!

Game Update

Check out Osmo Tangram for limited-time Space-inspired puzzles for kids to solve and character outfits to unveil (only available this month!).

Genius Spotlight: Gustav Holst

Do you know how the planets got their names? In English, astronomical names were mostly picked from Roman gods and goddesses according to personality or physical features. For example, Jupiter, our solar system’s hulking giant of a planet, was named after Roman mythology’s Jupiter, king of the gods.

Surprisingly, when music composer Gustav Holst wrote The Planets, he wasn’t inspired by astronomy OR mythology. The popular orchestral piece, written from 1914-1916, stems from another area of celestial wonderment: astrology. In astrology, people believe the positions of objects in the sky (like planets and stars) have an influence on life events on Earth. You may have heard of horoscopes or your “zodiac sign” — these come from astrology. The Planets contains seven movements–for Mars, Venus, Mercury, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune–each in a different style to reflect the planet’s astrological personality.

The musical piece has remained popular since its first performance in London in 1918. Holst was a teacher at the time after spending years overcoming neuritis (a painful condition in the hands) to become a working musician. Despite The Planets’ worldwide musical success, Holst chose to remain a teacher, out of the public spotlight, until his death. His contributions to music have provided 100 years’ worth of planetary appreciation.

Real-World Activity: Coffee Filter Space Art

Try this educator-approved activity at home. This week’s printable has instructions with photos!

Space has served as the inspiration behind many works of art. Create your own today! Grab coffee filters, markers, paper plates, and a spray bottle.

  1. With the coffee filter on top of the paper plate, color it to look like your favorite planet. 
  2. Spray the filter with just enough water to let the colors bleed.
  3. Place it somewhere to dry (hang outside or over the sink).
  4. Feel free to repeat with the whole solar system, cutting filters according to planet shapes.