Do you have what it takes to solve all of the puzzles in one hour to save a crew of astronauts lost in space? Create your own space themed escape room challenge at home, or in the classroom, with these DIY escape room ideas and puzzles. Creating your own escape room has never been easier!
If you have been following me for awhile, you know I love escape rooms. I enjoy visiting escape rooms in my area, but I also love creating them for my own kids at home and students at school. Some escape rooms are all printable, and you play them at a table like a board game. Others are interactive and all hands-on.
This space themed escape room challenge is a mix of both. There are printable pages and puzzles for you to solve, but several of the clues are also hands-on that you have to physically move around and manipulate to figure out. The mix works well to keep players engaged and excited as they work their way through the game.
My oldest loves learning about space and anything space related so I had a lot of fun creating this game – and they loved solving it. There is lots of learning and critical thinking involved in this escape game.
So get ready to start thinking far beyond our home on earth as you dive into the world beyond!
*All escape rooms should be done with adult supervision. Make sure to use age appropriate materials and place all clues in a safe place in the room.*
Since this escape room will get players moving around a little bit and some of the puzzles are hands-on, you need a few more supplies then just the printables. Most of the supplies are materials that you may already have around your house. A link for materials that you don’t have can be found at the bottom of this post, if you’re interested.
You will need:
- Space Escape Room Printables (Link at bottom of escape room)
- Laser pointer
- Number locks x2
- A small box that can be locked
- Magnifying glass
- File folder
- Sticker Dots
- Mirror (Optional)
Once you have all of your materials, start by preparing the printables. Most of the pages simply require you to cut the page, but follow the steps below on how to set up the room.
Use caution with the laser pointer and follow the instructions and warnings on the one you use. If players may not use the pointer safely, an adult needs to help when the pointer is used in the game.
Escape Room Challenge Set Up
You can keep the room very simple and just place the printable pages around the room. However, you can make the room extra special by decorating the room space themed and adding things like space sound effects.
I typically give one hour to solve an escape room, but you can give players a longer or shorter time depending on their age, the number of players and if they have experience with previous escape rooms.
When you enter the room the following materials need to be placed somewhere in the room. Each are explained in detail in the game description.
- A water bottle and tray or bowl of water
- The locked box
- Magnifying glass
- The printables
- Constellations on the wall
- File with printables
- Launch pad taped to the floor
- 2 clues pages hidden (Where laser dot lands)
When players are working on the room, one of the hardest, but perhaps most important things is to do as the supervising adult is to not jump in and help players when they get stuck. They are going to get stuck. Players are not going to immediately know what to do with some of the puzzle and they are likely going to go in the wrong direction as they try to figure out some of the clues.
That’s okay. It’s what escape rooms are all about. Players need to think of and try a strategy. If it doesn’t work, they’ll try something else until something works. There is a lot of learning, problem solving and critical thinking with every escape room. Limit your help to after players have tried several strategies and spend a chunk of time stuck on a puzzle before giving them a clue.
Imagine how great they’ll feel when they figure out a really tricky clue!
Preparing Your Room and Printables
Once you have printed all of the pages, several of the pages need to be placed in a file folder and you can print the words “TOP SECRET” on the front of the file. Some of the pages require a bit of extra prep to prepare them for the room. This is where the hands-on puzzles are mixed in.
Start with the astronaut page, dip the page in water and then set it on a hard surface, like a mirror. Set another sheet of (dry) paper on top of the wet picture and print the number code for one of your locks. Let the astronaut sheet dry and then this clue is ready.
For a more detailed description of how to create this clue, take a look at my other escape room and a video to help.
Once the page is dry, place it inside the file folder along with the “Confidential” page, grey rectangle, astronaut and the planet information pages.
A water bottle and tray need to be placed somewhere in the room in order to later activate this clue.
Inside the locked box, place a pair of scissors that are locked with another lock, a laser pointer, all of the constellation cards and the constellation code square.
On the wall of the room, use sticker dots to create the lock combination for the lock on the scissors. Each constellation has a coordinating number.
For example, create Leo if your number lock has the number 1 in it. You will have as many constellations on the wall as you have numbers in your lock. For young, or inexperienced players, make sure to put the constellations in order on the wall so that it represents the order that the number appear on the lock. I.e. If first number on the lock number is a one, create the Leo constellation first, followed by the next number/constellation beside it.
With older players, groups or simply to make the room more challenging, you can put the constellations in any order. Players will end up with three numbers that they have to rearrange to make different combinations to open the lock. (There are only six possible combinations with the three numbers).
Rocket and Laser Clue
Next, cut out the rectangle on the “test page”. I have included this page because you need to set this clue up ahead of time and it needs to be fairly exact. Players will later cut out their copy of the rectangle/rocket.
Once cut, also cut out the circles that say laser and twist the rectangle and tape it to create a cylinder. You may have to alter the circles a bit depending on the size of your laser pointer. I used a cat toy laser pointer.
You will need a fairly small laser, roughly 2-3 inches long and 1/2 inch, or less wide. If your laser is bigger, cut a larger hole where is says laser and either cut above or below the words, or reprint them. If you have to cut the circles bigger, then also precut them on the players copy.
Cut out the Launch Pad page and place it on the ground. Line up the rocket, satellite and moon images on both pages.
Inset the laser through the holes and move the cylinder/rocket and launch pad around the room until the laser points where you want it to. It may be to a book in a book shelf, a drawer or even a picture. Wherever you set the laser to point is where you will hide your next clue.
Once you have your spot that you want everything lined up, carefully tape the launch pad sheet to the floor.
In the spot that the laser dot points, place the “Top Secret” black page and cut out the white boxes. Also place the planet’s chart.
Around the room, cut out and tape each of the pictures of the planets. Make sure to print the page with Saturn and the words on the next page double sided in order to show up on the back of Saturn.
This is page 13-14 that need to be printed double sided. (When printing, choose ‘print on long edge’.)
I added a few more things around the room that we already had around the house, such as a telescope, and a few other space toys/models. I also left a small mirror in the room and although I didn’t intend for the mirror to be used, it ended up adding an extra challenge because players thought that they needed to use the mirror with the laser to solve the puzzle.
If you want to make the room more challenging adding these types of items is an easy way to make the room harder.
Once you have everything set up, your room is ready!
Space Escape Room Challenge – Story
Whether you have a child who is interested in space, a teacher looking for a small group activity, or simply looking for a new activity to try at home, this space escape room game is a great option!
All of the puzzle include something space themed, from the constellations, planets in the solar system and even an astronaut that holds a secret message, anyone who has a love for outer space.
The beginning storyline for the escape room is found below.
Escape Room Challenge
You’ve been brought into one of the biggest space agencies in the world. You know your strength with puzzles and being able to solve things that others can’t, but you have no idea why you are here. All you are told is that you are needed for the “Zodiac Mission”.
Confidential Letter Clue
You’re quickly moved into a room with only a few things including file folder with the words, “Top Secret” on the front. You open it to find…
A confidential letter, some information pages about the planets, an astronaut photo and rectangular image. You decide to start with the confidential letter.
As you read through the letter you realize how important of a mission this is. You are given the task to use the clues and information in the room to figure out which planet the astronauts are stranded on for that help can be sent.
You look through the letter for some clues or codes that you need to solve, but the only lead is that it suggests to focus on the astronaut.
At first glance there doesn’t appear to be anything special with the astronaut photo. However, upon closer inspection, you notice notice some different lettering around the border of the page. It is really small so you use the magnifying glass to get a better look.
You notice that it says, “place in h20”. You grab the water bottle and the dish you noticed earlier in the room and fill it with water.
As soon as the paper touches the water, the numbers 214 appear in the corner like magic.
You now have a number code that you know will lead you to your next clue. Looking around the room and notice a locked box.
You try the code on the lock, and it opens!
You empty the contents of the box and notice cards with pictures of the Zodiac constellations. There is also a code page with a number associated with each constellation. A pair of locked scissors and a laser pointer are also found in the box.
You now know what all of the dots on the wall are intended to be. They are not just random dots, they each create a constellation. You check the cards from the box and match each of the constellations on the wall with a card.
Once you have figured out which constellations are on the wall, you find the number connected to each. You now have another number code.
You try it on the lock on the scissors in the box. Success! They’re open.
Time to look around the room again to find what you need the scissors for. You remember the rectangular picture from the file in the beginning. It had dotted lines suggesting that it needed to be cut out.
Rocket and Laser Clue
You grab the page and start cutting. Once you’ve cut the rectangle, you start cutting the circles on the page that say laser.
You know you need the laser pointer for this clue, but need to figure out how and where to point the laser. You try different things, but can’t figure out how to make the laser connect to the rectangle.
Looking at old clues and around the room to see if there is anything to help solve this clue. You notice, on the ground, a square that says Launch Pad. On the pad you notice that there are three small pictures on the page – the same pictures that are on your rectangle.
You try to move the page around to match up the pictures. Then you realize that the only way to do this is to roll your paper into a cylinder and secure it with tape. It kind of looks like a rocket!
The pictures line up perfectly! Now to figure out what to do with the laser pointer.
You put the laser pointer through the holes that say laser – and it works!
One you have the laser in, you look around to where the laser is pointing. Quickly you run over to the dot and look around. Sure enough, there are a two pages right where the dot was!
The Planets Puzzle
Opening the pages, you have a chart and a Top Secret page. The chart has pictures and characteristics related to each of the planets.
You read through the chart and notice that you need to put an X for each planet that matches the description. You start reading the information on each planet.
As you read, you mark Xs and quickly fill the chart.
As you go through the pages, you also notice a small blue shape on the Neptune page. There was a similar shape on the Top Secret page.
You match up the blue shapes and instantly notice that the cutouts on the page line up to focus on a few words on the Neptune information page. It says, “Planet with Four X“.
The planet with four Xs is Saturn. Could that be the solution? Could the astronauts be stranded on Saturn. But you need some confirmation that you have solved all of the puzzles correctly.
Somehow Saturn is important. You check the Saturn information card… nothing.
Saturn Clue Escape Room Challenge
You look around the room and notice cut outs of all of the planets placed around the room and on the walls. You rush over to the picture of Saturn and look closely at it. Nothing. You remove it from the wall and check the back…
You did it! Congratulations! You successfully solved all of the clues and found the right planet. Help is being sent right away.
You have done an amazing job and were able to solve the codes that no one else was able to! You are recognized with a special award and highest honors for all of your hard work and problem solving! Way to go!
Escape Room Challenge Conclusion
Players will be excited to have found their way through the puzzles and solved all of the clues. You can choose if you let them keep playing if time runs out and how many clues you allow during play.
Give players the certificate when they are done. You can print as many copies of this page as you need to celebrate the win. A cool prize, like astronaut ice cream is also a cool treat to celebrate.
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Space Escape Room Challenge Printables
You can easily recreate this escape room at home because all of the printables are available to you! Simply print, prepare and set up the room. Follow the steps and instructions described in the post above to set up your puzzles.
The paper clues used in the escape room challenge above can all be found in the product below. Printables can help make your escape room look more professional. If you are repeating the escape room challenge several times, consider laminating the pages.
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