Young children are amazed with outer space and astronauts. Ken Wilson-Max wrote a book about a little girl having a major discussion about being an astronaut with her father. Candlewick Press published Astro Girl in 2019. This book has a cute story and brightly colored illustrations. The last couple of pages gives educational information about space travel and astronauts.
Young Astrid was having fun acting out the things an astronaut does while she waited for her mother to come home. Astrid and her papa role-played floating in space, eating food from packages, creating science experiments, and sleeping away from her bed. Astrid had a wonderful day, but more exciting when it was time for her mother to return home. She went with papa to pick up mama from the space station. You guessed it – Mama is an astronaut!
Engage in Fun Space Games
After reading the book, introduce the children to space games and partake in learning as you play together.
Moon Rock Scavenger Hunt
Astronauts brought special rock samples from the moon back to Earth on the Apollo missions. For a fun activity, invite the kids to collect rocks during the day and paint them with glow-in-the-dark paints. Have an adult hide them in the yard. During the evening, let the kids loose to find and collect the moon rocks. Provide flashlights and trek on your pretend lunar surface (yard) looking for glowing rocks. And the flashlights serve a dual purpose; it’s much safer when you can see where you are going!
My Trip to the Moon
Do you have any astronauts-in-training at your house? Have some fun with this game. Players take turns completing the sentence, “I went to the moon and saw…” One way to complete the sentence is with a reversal of reality on Earth. Your child may say something like, “I saw a small purple creature with green hair and flowers growing out of its ears.” Then you can ask questions about this creature like, “Where did this purple person go on his walk? What would he do once he got there?” See how much imagination and creativity can spur from this game.
Catch a Floating Asteroid
Asteroids are tiny little planet-like spheres floating in space. You and the kids can play a fun game using balloons that represent asteroids. Blow up a variety of colored balloons (one of each color). Inside each balloon insert a slip of paper with a challenge written on it before you tie it. Things like singing a space song, doing the moonwalk across the floor, or acting like a Martian. Toss the asteroids in the air and have the kids keep them afloat while the music is playing. When the music stops each child must grab an asteroid (balloon). The adult calls out a color and whoever has that colored asteroid must pop it and do the task written on the note inside.
Planet Ring Toss
There are eight planets in our solar system (Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune). Collect a variety of balls and place them on the ground to represent the planets. Make sure the balls are placed a good distance apart. Give each participant a few round hula-hoops and have them toss them from a designated line to ring one or more of the planets. Each player takes a turn and whoever rings the most planets wins the game.
These are only a few of the many outdoor space-theme games you can play together. There are also interactive space games for kids on the Internet for quiet play.
Space Graphic courtesy of Pixabay.com
Book Cover photographed by Tania Cowling