It’s a great thing for children to see and wonder about the world around them.
The night sky might be the most wondrous thing of all, so stargazing and astronomy are some of the most awe-inspiring things you can teach a child.
Here are 10 simple activities to introduce stargazing to preschoolers!
How to Explain Stars to Preschoolers
Preschool-aged kids may struggle to grasp the ideas of stars and space, since they’re not very tangible. However, introducing them through hands-on activities can help preschoolers enjoy and understand them much more.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at some fun activities to help little ones learn more about astronomy.
Creating diagrams is one of the most effective tools for teaching a kid about new concepts. You can also try engaging them with a coloring book or storybook that teaches them more about space.
5 Indoor Stargazing Activities for Preschoolers
1. Astronomy Films
While a documentary can easily bore preschoolers, you can still use your television to teach them astronomy. There are several movies available on different streaming platforms that revolve around space travel. While most of these are fictional, it can spark some interest with your kids.
Here is a quick list of films you should watch with your kids.
Everyone who has watched this film simply adores the titular character, Wall-e. Not only is this movie one of Pixar’s masterpieces, but it can also give an idea to your kids about how outer space works.
Veggie Tales: Veggies in Space, The Fennel Frontier
The beauty of this film is that not only does it teach your kids all about space, it can also inspire them to eat more healthy greens!
Golden retrievers in suits for space adventures? Space Buddies is the right movie for kids who love dogs. The whole film is simply adorable, and with Disney’s expert storytelling, your kid just might learn a thing or two about space.
2. Craft the Constellations
If your kids love crafting, then you can team up with them to create various art projects that involve heavenly bodies.
One of the easiest artworks to do is using yarn and cardboard to stitch the constellations.
Simply punch holes on the cardboards where the stars should be, and let your kids put the yarn through them to form the constellations. As a bonus, you can ask them to name the constellations that you formed together.
If you don’t like having a bunch of yarns around, you can instead use an illustration board and let the kids draw their favorite constellations using chalk.
3. Project the Sky
There are home planetariums you can buy online to turn your kid’s room into a galaxy. If it is raining outside or you simply cannot get a view clear of the night sky, just plug up your planetarium and spend the whole night identifying constellations on your kid’s ceiling and walls.
Kids will surely love this technology as they are fascinated with learning more things. The idea that they can see the stars in their own bedrooms can surely entice them to learn more about the galaxy. This is a great bonding time for you and your preschooler.
You can light up your home planetarium while reading their bedtime stories. The image of the night sky on their ceilings just before they fall asleep will surely guarantee a wonderful dream.
4. Space Themed Bedtime Stories
Speaking of bedtime stories, you can buy space-themed bedtime stories that give an insight into what it is like in outer space. You can also check what aspects of the story interests your kid so that you can focus on teaching them those concepts.
For example, if they enjoy stories that involve planets, you can teach them about the solar system. You can even take them out to see the planets twinkling when they appear in the night sky.
5. Space-Themed Games
Put a fun twist to your beloved family board games by adding a spice of space and astronomy in them. From simple games like Snakes and Ladders to more complicated ones like Monopoly, you can DIY it to teach your kids more about outer space.
5 Outdoor Stargazing Activities for Preschoolers
1. Backyard Stargazing
If you live in a suburban area, you and your kid can go to your backyard at night to have a clear view of the constellations. You can do this on any night, as long as the stars are visible. But if you want a clear view of the sky, you can choose to stargaze on a moonless night.
If you are living in the city, don’t worry, you don’t have to take your kids to a far place just to see the stars. While it is true that light pollution makes the stars shine less bright, you can take advantage of certain days to have a clear view of the sky. For example, during Earth Day, when everyone closes their lights for an hour, you can use that time stargazing with your kids.
You have a higher chance of engaging with your kids if they can relate to what you are teaching. So, you can take them out for a backyard stargazing night on their birthday and show them their constellation. Not only did you make their birthday extra special, but you also taught them about the zodiac constellations!
2. Spot the Meteor
Even adults know how amazing it is to see a meteor. You can let your kids have the same experience by camping outside and watching the night sky until a meteor shows up. You can also make a little game out of it by getting points for each meteor spotted.
While waiting for the meteors to show up, you can spend the time with your kids reviewing the different constellations that can be seen in the sky. You can also simply let them ask you about anything as you all watch the sky.
3. Planetarium Trip
We already mentioned having a home planetarium to light up your kid’s room (and their faces!), but another thing you can do is take them to an actual planetarium. These places are more equipped to teach your kids more things about the universe, and it is obviously a much bigger place than your kid’s room.
You can visit the planetarium for a Sunday family day, or as a reward for good behaviors such as high grades. Be sure to take a lot of photos with your kids so that they can revisit their favorite moments after the trip.
4. Binoculars and Telescope
If you want to upgrade your stargazing experience, you can buy a binocular or telescope specially designed for kids. You can buy a telescope depending on your child’s interest in astronomy. For example, if they are just starting out, a simple beginner’s binoculars are fine. But if they seem to really be into astronomy, you can buy a more advanced telescope that is easier to use.
The good thing about having your own binoculars and telescope is that you can use it for stargazing from anywhere. If your family is vacationing in another city, you can bring those binoculars and have a past time for your kids at night.
You should standby for NASA’s announcements for rare outer space events. Some of these events are once in a lifetime, so be sure that you get to enjoy them!
5. Stargazing Trips
There’s nothing more wonderful than having a wonderful trip. This lets them explore more of the world by visiting other cities, and also explore the outer world from different places! Just bring a blanket, some pillows, and plenty of snacks, and visit a scenic spot where you have a clear view of the sky.
You can also make it a little astronomy party by bringing the space-themed games, movies, and stories we mentioned earlier. To really make the day special, you can even wear space-themed costumes! If you are going on a stargazing trip for a once in a lifetime outer space event, then you can go all out with all the space-themed concepts!
You can bring marshmallows, toothpicks, and barbeque sticks. Then, you can ask your kids to form the constellations you see using marshmallows and toothpicks. After this fun little game, you can stick the constellation-mallows into a barbeque stick and toast them in your campfire. Not only did your kids practice what they are learning, but they also get a tasty snack!
From simply creating in your home to spending a night stargazing, there are a lot of things you can do to bond with your kids through astronomy. What’s fun about these activities is that you can mix and match them in order to give your kids the best experience they can have.