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Here are several astronomy activities kids will love! Fostering a love of STEM learning at an early age is one of the best ways to help your child be successful in school. Of course, astronomy is one of the subjects that make up the science (S) part of STEM learning. In order to engage your child, the activities need to be fun and engaging so they enjoy doing them rather than see them as another chore to get through.
Astronomy Activities Kids Will Love
Of course, the type of astronomy activities kids will enjoy depends a lot on their age. You will need to start very basic and simple if you have a preschooler. If your child is in middle school or high school, you can offer activities that are more advanced and in-depth.
50 Things To See With A Telescope – Kids: A Constellation Focused ApproachThe Everything Kids’ Astronomy Book: Blast into outer space with stellar facts, intergalactic trivia, and out-of-this-world puzzlesIn My Room Star Theater Tabletop Planetarium Light Projector
Preschool Astronomy Activities
Because a preschooler tends to have a relatively short attention span, you’ll want to keep these activities short and fun. Take some snacks and a blanket out into the backyard one night and talk to them about the stars. You may want to bring along a book about space and read the poem “Star Light Star Bright” to them during this activity. You may also like this STEM DVD for preschoolers.
Of course, you don’t need to limit learning to night time. There are a number of books, movies, and games you can play with your child during the day. Talk about the nursery rhyme “The Cow Jumped Over the Moon” and see if they think this could really happen. This space puzzle is a wonderful way to engage 4 to 5-year-olds. If you’re looking for astronomy activities for kindergarten, you might want to try a few from the elementary list depending on your child.
Elementary School Astronomy Activities
As your child gets older, their attention span will increase and you can start adding in ideas that are more in depth. Did you know that some of the days of the week are named after planets? Talk to your child about Saturday (Saturn) and Monday (Moon) and see what else they can come up with. You can also start to talk to them about the different planets and where they are located. Putting together a planet mobile can be a lot of fun. This one is recommended for ages 8 and up.
If they seem to have a real interest in astronomy, you may want to purchase a telescope for them to watch the stars and planets up close. Introduce them to a few fun facts. Did you know that Pluto was discovered on February 18th? Or, that it has now been classified as a dwarf planet? There are a lot of constellation activities for middle school that would work for homeschooling as well.
Middle School and High School Astronomy Activities
At this age, you can really start to delve into the subject of astronomy. Consider purchasing a pair of binoculars and head outside to a local park or on a camping trip where the lights of the cities won’t interfere with your view. This one is neat because it comes with a smartphone adapter. You can also start to talk about telling time based on the position of the stars. And, you might want to create your own sundial to tell time based on the position of the sun.
You might also want to introduce them to a few astronomy-related websites at this age (with supervision). NASA has a great website for children of all ages. CoolCosmos has lots of fun resources to check out as well. I’m sure if you checked Pinterest for astronomy crafts, you would find quite a few to get started with.
Check out this helpful guide for more astronomy activities.