The universe is a wondrous and never-ending source of enjoyment and learning, and it’s fantastic when children find an interest in it, in space, in rockets, and in astronauts. Anything to do with space exploration should be encouraged because the more young people who are fascinated by this area, the more innovations and exciting forward thinkers we will have in the future.
If your child is showing an interest in this area, then here are some great ways to help to encourage that interest and give them a – hopefully – lifelong love of space and everything that comes with it.
Read About It
One of the easiest ways to begin encouraging a love of space and the universe is to read about it. When it comes to the bedtime story, you can enjoy a book on space together; it can be fiction (to a point) or nonfiction, as long as the facts are correct and the information easily accessible.
What’s really great about learning about space through books such as these is that you, the parent, will learn things as well, and perhaps you will also develop an interest if you didn’t have one already.
Reading is a great activity that parents and children can do together, or that children can do on their own when they need to study silently, or their parents need a bit of peace and quiet around the house. Plus, the more a child reads, the better they will be in all kinds of subjects, from English to science and everything in between, because the ability to read fosters a greater ability to understand. If they happen to be reading books about space, then all the better. If you’re running out of room to keep all these books, don’t worry; there are some stylish architectural shelving systems to help you keep your child’s room looking neat and tidy and not restrict the number of books you can have.
Make It Hands-On
Hands-on activities are always fantastic ways to ensure a child is learning and also enjoying the process. Even if your child is not particularly artistic, it won’t matter, and they will be indulging in their favorite hobby while also being creative. This will make them feel good thanks to the release of pleasurable hormones such as serotonin throughout the body, and when they have completed their task, they will have learned something new and feel confident that they can do many other things as well.
- Make models of the solar system
- Create imaginary new planets and design an ecosystem for them
- Make a rocket
- Draw, paint, or use stickers to come up with a picture of the universe
- Write a story
Camping out under the stars has many different benefits, and being in nature and breathing in fresh air is good for you in both a physical and mental capacity. It can also be the best way to enjoy a great view of the stars above us and gain a greater understanding of their place in the universe as a whole.
Take your kids camping, and you will discover that you can see so much more than you might have thought. You will be far away from any light pollution or tall buildings, giving you the best view of the sky and allowing everyone to take everything in.
Bring your star maps with you so that you can help your child correctly identify each star and even planet that can be spotted, and make sure that you tell them the history of each one so that they have a greater understanding in general.
Camping out to look at the stars makes the experience so much more special and will encourage a love of space that goes even deeper.
Buy A Telescope
A good telescope can be expensive, but it will be worth the cost if it is one that will give your child the best view of the night sky from their bedroom window. You should always try to buy the best one you can – a cheap telescope is a waste of money as it won’t offer your child the enjoyment that a high-quality one will.
Make sure you do your research before making a purchase. Not only should the telescope be the best you can afford, but check out reviews and what other people have to say about the quality of what can be seen through it too – this is more telling than good advertising will be.
You should also make sure you know where it is going to be sited. A good telescope won’t be a small piece of equipment, and it will come with a stand like a tripod which will take up a large amount of room. Do you have enough space for a piece of equipment like this?
If you don’t have enough room for a good quality telescope, or your budget won’t allow for one, then take a look around for local stargazing events. Amateurs and professionals often put these events on to encourage those with an interest in the universe to come and join in – and there will be events for children as well as adults. Here you can use the best equipment and be given one-to-one lessons regarding what you are seeing and what to look out for.
This can be a truly exciting and entertaining event for both adults and children, and it is something that will stay with the kids for a long time to come, hopefully fostering a more profound love of the universe and encouraging them to go further with their studies.
Something else that works really well for children who want to learn more about something that they might not otherwise have access to is online videos. When you start to search, you will see there are thousands of different videos that explain the universe and the different planets within the solar systems. There are videos that explain how rockets are built and how they work, and videos that detail what an astronaut does in their day-to-day work life, as well as much, much more.
Find videos aimed at children in the age range that yours are, and let them enjoy learning in a fun, visual way.