Brian and I are constantly watching the Science channel. We took a couple astronomy classes together in college and every since I've been spellbound by the perils, possibilities and profusion of the universe. My only complaint is that every show on the Science channel about the universe is pretty much exactly the same with exactly the same graphics. Planets colliding, lands erupting, suns bursting. I still find it fascinating none-the-less.
So, I'd like to share my love of the universe with the kids and make one of these solar system mats via Let It Be Montessori. HOWEVER, I think it would be a little cooler to make a carpet or blanket.
You could use a long zippers for the circles. Then you could attach the planets to the zipper heads and they could travel along the circles. I also like the idea of making the planets soft. If you made a carpet you could use this Ikea rug.
Also, I wish I could make the planets proportionate to each other but I think that might be impossible on a blanket;) I don't think kids get a good grasp of how different in size they really are. Let along how different in size our sun is to others. OH, I could go on and on.