Fun Space Activities For Kids
Does your little one talk animatedly about space or watch astronauts on television with rapt attention? Here are some fun space activities for kids to get your child interested in space science.
By Kavitha Ravi • 5 min read
‘Space, the final frontier’－ this line from the hugely popular television series Star Trek, cast a spell on most of us as youngsters and drew us into the world of outer space and rocket science. Even today our kids are enthralled by the sight of the moon in the night sky, news about rocket launches and the Mars mission. Does your child wish to dress up like an astronaut and become a space traveller? We have listed some amazing outer space activities for kids to nurture their interest in space.
Outer space activities for preschoolers (3 to 5-year-olds)
Preschoolers who are still getting introduced to the concept of space are mesmerised by the night sky, stars, planets and the vast space beyond their reach. There is only limited knowledge that children can gain from books about space. Engaging them in activities that will build their love for the beyond is the right way to nurture their curious minds.
Here are some activities that can get your preschooler interested in learning about space:
Monitor the phases of the moon
Does your child love looking up at the moon and hear stories about it? This is a 28-day activity, wherein your child can chart the different phases of the moon. Right from the no moon day to the full moon day, you can take pictures of the Earth's satellite. These pictures can be arranged together in a sequence on a chart or a book. That’s how your child gets his own moon scrapbook!
Identify moon craters
A powerful pair of binoculars is necessary for this activity, but it will be worth the excitement that your little one will show when looking at the moon through it. You can teach your child the names of some of the popular craters such as Tycho, Copernicus and Clavius. Once she becomes familiar with the names you can help her spot the craters using the binoculars.
Spot the planets
Planets such as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn are visible to the naked eye at certain points in time through the year. So, you don't need an expensive telescope to get a glimpse of these planets. You can also teach your child to differentiate between a star and planet and then move on to spotting each of these five planets.
Identify the zodiac constellations
The night sky is a beautiful thing to behold. There are numerous constellations that light it up. While it might be difficult for a young child to identify all the constellations in the sky, a good place to begin is by spotting constellations related to the zodiac. You can make spotting constellations a year-round activity, as these are seasonal in nature.
Observe meteor showers
Meteor showers are nature's fireworks. They are brilliant and should not be missed. Contact your local astronomy club and join them when they observe these showers. It is one-of-a-kind visual experience that your preschooler will cherish for a long time.
Visit a planetarium
A visit to the planetarium is a must for any child. There are plenty of things to do and see there, which will keep your preschooler engaged for hours. From viewing planets through a telescope to watching informative and engaging shows about Mars, the sun, the moon, the Milky Way and much more, the planetarium should be the first stop on a child’s journey into the cosmos.
Pitch a tent under the stars
Rent a tent and take the children out of town for a day. The night skies seem much clearer without the hindrance of the city lights. Pick a safe place, build a campfire and you can have a brilliant night filled with stars.
Solar system activities for preschoolers
Make a model of the solar system
Making a model of the solar system is one of the best hands-on activities when it comes to getting children curious about the solar system. As your child tries to make the models of each planet, he can learn its name, distance from the sun and its size. These models can be made from a variety of materials and can be arranged in any manner that pleases you. Sky's the limit!
Go for a ‘spacey’ makeover
Give your children the best way to fall asleep by gifting them a room filled with the stars and planets. Get them involved in the project. Let them pick the night-time colours. They can make model comets and planets for their room.
Space crafts for preschoolers
Build model rockets
Rockets and astronauts hold a special place in a child's heart. Instead of buying her mass-produced toy rockets, why not make one at home? All you will need is chart paper, glue, a hollow tube such as a leftover toilet roll, some paint and a pair of child-friendly scissors. Help your child to put everything together to build a model rocket using the above items. You can even get your child to name her rocket once you are done building it.
Early exposure to space science will benefit your child in the long run. Who knows he might even want to take up a career studying about space? And the way to do it best is by getting your child involved in learning about space through some fun activities.
About the author:
Written by Kavitha Ravi on 11 September 2017; updated on 24 November 2020
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