We started started out by reading How to Catch a Star, a story about a boy who is eager to have a star of his own, so he devises imaginative ways of catching one.
Then we made the playdough. I adapted the instructions from this website tutorial to create a no-bake playdough recipe that we could make together, in the library.
We read the second book, Stars, as we were waiting for the playdough to cool. Stars provides an introduction to stars and constellations of the Milky Way, as well as galaxies, star clusters, and other phenomena.
We where then able to explore the science concepts we had learned, using Celestia, a free educational computer program used by NASA to teach kids about space.
By this time, the playdough had cooled enough to touch without getting sticky fingers. Finally, we rolled our homemade playdough in glitter, to add the "stars" to our "galaxy"!
Children got to play with their playdough and take it home with them in a plastic baggie. (Note: the playdough will dry out if you don't store it in a sealed container. The recipe makes enough playdough for about four children.)