Brought to you by the Moon, Rocks in the Sky, Star Gazing, and Paper Folding
As the seasons change, now is a great time of the year to get a blanket, hot chocolate, binoculars or a telescope, and do some sky watching. The clearer the sky, the easier it will be to see the moon, stars, planets, comets and satellites.
Find a nice dark spot away from street and porch lights.
Take a few minutes for your eyes to get used to the dark.
You may be able to see many objects in the sky even with your naked eyes.
With a preschool child, the easiest object in the sky to identify is the moon. You can best show this during a full moon. In fact, this a great way to show the changes of the moon by charting its shape every night for a month. Draw a picture each night of the moon to show its changes. A low powered telescope can easily show the craters in the moon.
Stars can be identified easily because they twinkle, like the song
"Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star"-
Our sun is a star. Young stars are called blue giants. They are so big that they don't last
very long. Older stars are called red dwarfs. They are the longest lasting stars.
Our sun is a star called a yellow dwarf. It means our sun is still "alive" and producing
energy. It should be around for at least 5 or 6 billion more years.
Planets are bright, but they don't twinkle. Some appear quite large in the evening sky
because they are so bright. It's great to compare and contrast other planets to Earth.
Our sister planet is Venus because it is almost the same size and is made of rocky
material. Mars is smaller that earth, but may have polar ice caps like Earth.
Mercury is closest to the sun. Venus is the hottest planet. Earth is the only planet
with life because of its oxygen atmosphere and liquid water. Jupiter is a
gaseous planet, there may only be a small amount of rock in the center. Pluto is
the farthest away from the sun and is the smallest planet.
My favorite objects to look for are satellites.
They are bright and move quite quickly. Some twinkle like stars and some don't like planets.
Keep a close eye on them because they will cross the sky in a matter of a few minutes.
They are easiest to find in the early evening.
Here are some objects to find in the evening sky:
The Big Dipper is easy to find because it is shaped like a big dipper.
The first planet to show in the evening sky, is Venus.
Jupiter is the biggest planet and is often one of the brightest.
A shooting star is a meteor.
Simple Facts about Our Solar System.
1. Our sun is a star.
2. We live on Earth, which is a planet.
3. The planets circle the sun.
4. The moon circles the earth.
5. The earth spins like a top.
6. It takes the earth one year to rotate around the sun.
7. Earth is the only planet with life in our Solar System.
8. Our galaxy is called the Milky Way.
9. The sun is always shining. The spinning of the earth causes day and night.
10. Sometimes meteors hit the earth. They are rocks that hit the earth from space.
Dot to Dot Constellations
Star Child has a great introduction to the solar system, the universe, black holes,
at various levels
Space Games-My kids used to play Space Hop all the time. It was a great way to study and learn about the solar system.
These games are fun for the whole family. Younger players can be your partner. Let them move the skittle or roll the dice and count with you.
Here are some more space games you can make.