Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 327

The Outer Planets


Hello Everyone


A few weeks ago, at Henry’s request, l wrote a blog post about the four rock planets of our solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars and now l think it is about time that l continued to tell you about the four gas planets too.


Here we go…


Like the Sun, the four outer planets consist mainly of the gas, hydrogen.


Between the rock planets and the gas planets lies the asteroid belt which contains many millions of asteroids travelling in orbit around the Sun.  lt is divided into the inner and outer belts.  Some asteroids can be very large or as small as a grain of sand. 


The gas planets are spaced out even farther apart than the rock planets.


They look like big balls of coloured gas when you look at them.


Jupiter is the largest planet in the Solar System.  lt is as big as all the other planets put together and 1,316 times bigger than the Earth. 


Beneath the cloudy surface may be a core of liquid hydrogen. 


Scientists think that Jupiter is the oldest planet in the solar system because it was actually made when a part of the Sun broke away.


On the surface of Jupiter is a big red spot that is very distinctive and easy to see. 


This spot is about three times the size of Earth.  lt is made of a huge whirlpool of gases spinning round in a permanent storm.  lt is like a super hurricane and we know it has been raging for at least 300 years.


Jupiter has more than 60 moons.  The largest is called Ganymede.  lt is quite a big body in its own right.  lts diameter is less than half that of the Earth but is bigger than both Mercury and Pluto. 


(Pluto used to be considered to be the ninth planet in the Solar System but was relegated in 1992 to be a dwarf planet in a belt of other similar bodies.  Eris, another dwarf planet in this belt is 27% bigger than Pluto.)


Jupiter’s days are 9 hours and 50 minutes long but a year is nearly 12 Earth years.  So the days are much shorter than ours and the years are much longer.  There are over 10,000 Jupiter days in a Jupiter year.


Remember that a year is how long a planet takes to go once around the Sun.


The next planet along is Saturn which has a very distinctive shape because it is circled by rings.  They are large enough to fit around 400 Earths.  The rings are made of dust and rocks and are only a few miles thick.


Saturn is very cold.  The temperature of its clouds is minus 180 degrees Celsius.


Saturn has a lot of moons too.  lt has 18 moons but some are only about 20km across and cannot be seen from Earth.  They were discovered by NASA Voyager space probes.


Uranus is the next planet, and also consists of gases: helium, hydrogen and methane – which give it a beautiful turquoise colour.  lt has been called the ‘ice giant’ because it is so cold there.  lt has a rocky, icy core but scientists now believe there is an ocean on the surface of the planet which is extremely hot.  A strange thing about Uranus is that it is spinning on its side and scientists are still trying to decide why this occurred.  lt too has rings, but they are not as obvious as Saturn’s.


lt has 27 moons and a lot of them have girls’ names like Miranda, Juliet, Bianca and Belinda so you may share your name with one of these moons.


The last planet in the Solar System in Neptune; it was only discovered in 1846 and is the smallest gas planet.  lt has 13 moons that we know of.


lt is the most beautiful blue colour with white clouds streaked across its surface.  The biggest cloud has been named Scooter because it scoots about.  Neptune is the windiest planet with winds of over 1,000 miles per hour.


There is still so much to discover out in space.


There is so much more to know about the seven planets that share the Sun with us and their moons are very interesting worlds to explore too.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Why did the monster look in the newspaper?


Bob:  l don’t know.  Why did the monster look in the newspaper?


Bill:  He wanted to look at his horrorscope!



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery















This week, Emily was playing with her dolls in Auntie Alice’s garden.

She wanted to give them tea and cakes.

Auntie Alice didn’t happen to have any cakes in the house at the time so she made Emily some knitted cupcakes.

She said they would always be in the toy cupboard for her to use in future.

They could be taken into the garden to play with.



If you want the pattern for Auntie Alice’s cupcakes, it is here…





The cake in the photograph is chocolate with pink icing and a cherry on the top.

You can cook, I mean make, cakes in other colours to serve at you dolls’ tea parties.

The knitting of the cake is quite easy as long as you can cope with having a large number of stitches on you needle but the making up can be a little fiddly so you may need a bit of help from an adult with this part.



Using 4mm knitting needles and pink dk yarn cast on 100 stitches

Cast off

Cut off yarn leaving a long end of about 20cm

Curl the knitting round and sew across it with the ends of the yarn

Sew a red pompom onto the centre



Using 4mm knitting needles and brown dk yarn cast on 70 stitches

Cast off

Cut off yarn leaving a long end of about 20cm

Curl the knitting round and sew across it with the ends of the yarn



Using 4mm knitting needles and brown dk yarn cast on 6 stitches

Knit 60 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



  1. Sew up the side seam
  2. Turn the sides out the other way so that the side seam is inside the cake
  3. Ease the top of the cake onto the top of the sides and sew around
  4. Ease the sides onto the base and sew the sides to the base
  5. Stuff the cake just before you close up the last seam


Remember that the way you stuff the cake will have an effect on its final appearance so watch what you are doing carefully








Quick Quiz


Can you identify these objects that can be found in the sky?


  1. r _ _ _ _ _ w
  2. s _ _ _ _ _ _ _ e
  3. c _ _ _ _ s
  4. b _ _ _ s
  5. M _ _ n
  6. a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ e
  7. s _ _ _ _ t






lt’s the Weekend!




Emily was knitting some different colours of yarn and discovered that the back of the knitting had a very interesting pattern appear on it.

So this dress that she made, is, in essence, made as an inside-out piece of knitting.

If you use two colours that are very different, the pattern will stand out much more than if you use two colours that are very similar in tone.



Using 4mm knitting needles and dark green yarn cast on 24 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch


Change to white dk yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch


Repeat the last 8 rows 5 times

Cast off


Sew up the back seam using over-sew stitching




Using 4mm knitting needles and dark green yarn cast on 14 stitches

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch


Change to white dk yarn

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch


Repeat the last 8 rows 2 times

Cast off


Sew up the bottom and side seams using over-sew stitching.


Crochet 20 chains into green and white yarn at the same time and then attach the ends of the strap to the top corners of the bag.



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. rainbow
  2. satellite
  3. clouds
  4. birds
  5. Moon
  6. aeroplane
  7. sunset


Sister planets

Gaia and Luna


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