Children are so full of wonder and sometimes that wonder comes in the form of questions that can be very difficult for the non-scientist to answer. Discussing space and planets for kids can be overwhelming. Why are there seasons? How many stars are there? What is the moon made of? No doubt, you’ve heard these or a version of them before. When children begin to ask questions of this nature their curiosity is peaking and it is our job to encourage that desire to learn. Here are a few ways you can do just that:
Visit a Museum of a Planetarium: If you are lucky enough to live near an astronomy museum or a planetarium you might want to think about forking over the cash for a membership. Museums can make the cosmos seem real and children will love exploring the universe inside its walls. Knowledge sticks when we use our whole body to learn so take some time to relax in that planetarium and take in the vastness of the universe.
Build a Model: Discussing the planets in relation to earth is fine but building a model will give your child a visual and a kinesthetic experience to learn from. Don’t be afraid to get messy. Children are naturally creative and this model should reflect that. You might even learn a little something, too.
Purchase a Telescope: Planets for kids are a fascinating topic. Even as amateurs you can enjoy the solar system from the comfort of your backyard. The quiet bonding time is the cherry on top.
Join an Astronomy Club: Why not ask the experts? Find a local astronomy club and learn from those with experience. The galaxy can seem daunting but access to those that spend their days studying it can make planets for kids much more accessible.
Exploring the big questions with your children will be an education for both of you. Parent by example and show them that you have a thirst for knowledge, too. Their eagerness to understand astronomy will grow and so will yours.