How to Get Your Child Interested in Astronomy
As you can probably appreciate, our kids have a wide range of interest and as parents we should always encourage this. However, topics like Astronomy need to be introduced to them. Why? It’s not exactly a topic that gets introduced to our kids at school, which means we need to introduce them to it.
Now, if they still show zero interest in it, that’s fair enough and it’s not worth pushing the agenda. However, if they show a little interest in it, then it’s certainly worth exploring. Not only is it a fascinating subject, but, it will also help give your child a broader outlook about life in general.
Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the most exciting things to happen to us as human beings in history was the moon landing that happened back in 1969. Two astronauts by the name of Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin walked on the moon for the very first time.
That one single event managed to explode the imaginations of millions of kids around the world and they started to dream and believe they could be an astronaut or be involved with Space.
Decades later, with so many famous news stories like NASA’s Mars Perseverance Rover, Spacex’s live stream of rockets going into orbit and returning, astronomy and space are starting to register on everyone’s radar again, and that’s great!
There’s also news that we’re about to explore the moon again and increase the number of lunar landings both unmanned and manned. There seems to be another space race among western countries.
Five Simple Steps to Get Your Child Interested in Astronomy:
Paint The Ceiling
This has got to be one of THE fastest and effective ways of getting your kids interested in astronomy. It really doesn’t matter what image you want to use as the sky. You can either paint the moon, stars, sky or if you’re feeling really ambitious, the solar system.
As soon as your kid is old enough to recognise images, we would recommend painting it, then. There are a wide variety of different paints out there and some that even glow in the dark if you want to go that extra mile. Believe it or not, this is going to provide hours of fun as your kid learns about the stars and even our solar system.
Take Your Kids Star Gazing
This will only work when your kid becomes of age really. Otherwise, they’re going to be pretty unimpressed. We think people have been doing this from the beginning of mankind. Stargazing is such a great way to connect or reconnect with your family as it’s something that you all can do. It costs nothing and can pretty much be done from the comfort of your back garden.
You’re best off choosing nights where they aren’t too many clouds in the sky, otherwise, you’re not likely going to see anything. Like I said, this can be done in your back garden or depending on your house layout, from your rooftop. The only thing you want to make sure of is not to miss the really BIG vents such as meteor showers or a lunar eclipse.
There are also times of the year when other planets like Jupiter, Mars and Venus are actually viable to the naked eye.
We would recommend checking with this website every now and again to get an accurate time when these things are likely to happen.
If you don’t have access to a back garden, then, you could either choose the nearest hilltop or choose to go camping. Your kids will absolutely love this time away with you where they have your undivided attention and they also get to see some really cool things.
Buy Them Some Books on Astronomy
Now, this option sounds pretty obvious, right? But, if your kid doesn’t like reading books, this may not have been your first choice.
Now, unless you’re an expert in space and astronomy, your knowledge is going to be pretty limited. Therefore, we recommend purchasing or borrowing books on astronomy.
Not only so these books provide a much deeper understanding and knowledge, but they will also be more accurate. As your kids grow older they can buy even more books on astronomy that go into even more detail.
Buy a Telescope
Other than the books, a telescope would be the next purchase. After reading and getting to grips with astronomy, there’s no better way of them getting even more in depth knowledge than a telescope.
The only caveat we would give is the fact that these telescopes are quite expensive. We only advise purchasing one of these if your kid really shows a keen interest.
Get the Star Walk 2 - Night Sky Map
If you’ve never heard of this Star Walk 2 before, you’ve definitely got to download and try it. I will warn you though, it’s highly addictive. It’s an astronomy app that can be used and shared by the whole family to enjoy.
If you do happen to purchase a telescope, you can use it in conjunction with that.
You can discover all of the wonders of the universe with this app. Simply aim your digital device to view the real-time positions of different stars, planets and constellations. You also have the ability to zoom in and explore different 3D models and Wikipedia articles.
Objects and astronomical events to learn in this stargazing app:
- Stars and constellations, their position in the night sky
- Solar system bodies (solar system planets, the Sun, the Moon, dwarf planets, asteroids, comets)
- Deep Space objects (nebulae, galaxies, star clusters)
- Satellites overhead
- Meteor showers, equinoxes, conjunctions, full/new Moon and etc.
As you can see, not only is this a really interesting topic to get your kids into, it’s also a great activity and learning experience for the whole family.
If you happen to live near a planetarium, I highly recommend that you pay it as a visit with the whole family. Not only is there plenty of learning opportunities, but there’s also a ton of interactive exhibits to get your teeth into :)