This post is from Ticia at Adventures in Mommydom. She has wonderful resources and I know that you will enjoy what she has for you today. This is Week 3 of The Science Celebration and the focus is on earth & space science. Ticia is offering up some tidbits on astronomy for kids. Astronomy is a personal area of weakness so I am thrilled she is here to share her wealth of knowledge. Affiliate links are used for your convenience. Read my full disclosure here.
Igniting a Love …
For as long as I can remember I was fascinated by the stars. I would go out into my backyard as a kid and watch the stars and try to find the constellations. I was never particularly good at finding them, but I loved the stories behind the constellations. Then in high school I took a semester long astronomy course while I was also taking physics. My astronomy professor taught me the whys behind astronomy, what happens with our sun, or why Jupiter has a giant red spot. But it was my physics teacher who taught me where to look.
Give your kids a love of astronomy
I’ve tried to pass on that same love of astronomy to my kids. My biggest success has been passing on a love of taking walks at night. We live in the suburbs, so we can’t see many constellations, but there’s a few we can all pick out, and sometimes it’s just fun to go outside when it’s dark and lay down and watch the stars.
Obviously the best time to watch the stars is at night, right? That means you get to stay out past bedtime. Staying up past bedtime all by itself ensures your kids are excited.
Next, learn the stories. There are free apps on your phone that will scan the night sky and tell you which constellations you can see. As you look up at the sky tell the story of who Cygnus is, or of Orion the Great Hunter.
If you want to go far afield, check out the Chinese mythologies and their constellations. All of the myths behind their Chinese New Year is told in the stars and The Great Race (affiliate link).
Ready to take your learning to the next level?
Are you ready to take your learning beyond a free phone app, and some fun stories? Now, this is a serious investment, you’ll need lots of money and space for this.
Okay, I was totally lying. All you need are a good pair of binoculars. (affiliate link).
That’s all Galileo had when he discovered the Galilean moons. Okay, his was an actual telescope, but that is about the magnification power it had, they might even be a bit more than he could see.
With these binoculars you can:
- find several of Jupiter’s moons
- find the morning and evening stars (I’ll give you a hint, they’re not actually stars)
- see the craters on the moon
- start to make serious observations of the night sky
Sounds pretty exciting doesn’t it?
Once I took my high school astronomy and physics courses I spent several nights laying in my backyard with the binoculars to my eyes searching the night sky for amazing discoveries.
Who is Ticia?
Ticia became a stay-at-home mom when her twins were born. Daycare would not have made sense on a teacher’s salary. Ticia loved hand-on learning and continued developing hands-on lessons when she came home. She shares her journey at Adventures in Mommydom.