My daughter has been coming out of her dinosaur obsession phase recently and although she still loves her prehistoric pals her attention seems to be turning to the starry sky's above her. She has several books on space and seems to be fascinated by all aspects of space travel , planets and has even devised a cunning plan to find out if aliens really do exist!
So I was very excited to find out that Cbeebies are running a special Stargazing week next week with a programme at 5.30 each evening. This seem a fantastic and age friendly way to encourage her interest in astronomy and I might even learn something myself. I've had a look at the website and there are some great sky map printables on there so go and have a look.
I've also been thinking of some other ways to make the most of her new passions with crafts and days out and so here are some ideas for any budding astronomers out there!
Glow In The Dark Stars
Me and my children were both very excited to discover you can buy glow in the dark clay. You can get a range of colours and all you need to do is hold it up to the light to "charge" it and you can create some amazing effects. We decided to make some simple stars using a star cookie cutter but you could get as adventurous as you like and create planets, comets and even a whole solar system!
A Cardboard Box Rocket
It is a universally acknowledged fact that no child can resist playing with a cardboard box so when we were lucky enough to get a delivery in one last year we decided to turn it into a super space rocket! It's super easy to do. We just used silver paint (lots and lots of it!) to give it a metallic shine and made flames out of orange and yellow card. It kept the children amused for hours going on amazing space adventures and cost hardly anything to make.
Yoghurt Pot Aliens
My children are fascinated by aliens. They love books like Aliens Love Underpants and the great thing about aliens is that as we have never seen one our imaginations can soar. We made these cute little creatures with old yoghurt pots. A good tip to get paint to stick to the plastic is to mix it up with glue. Then you can go to town with googly eyes, pipecleaners and anything else you can think of . I think this little fellow looks quite friendly really!
If you want to spend a day out exploring space then I can highly recommend the National Space Centre in Leicester. We went a couple of years ago and it was a great day out with interactive displays, an impressive planetarium show and a very tempting rocket launcher in the cafe with a big button that children can press to start lift off!
Here in Hertfordshire we are lucky enough to have our very own observatory at Bayfordbury who run open evenings during the Winter months. We are going for a visit in February and are all really looking forward to it and I will report back on the blog.
Space Books For Children
Of course you don't need to leave the house to get inspired by space. One reason we love books is that they can take us places we may never go from the comfort of our own sofa. Here are some great space themed books to share with your children that we have enjoyed and I'm sure there are plenty more: