Imagine & Wonder - Stargazing With Children

The sky is filled with fantasy and wonder.  One can look up at those amazing stars for hours and contemplate the universe.  Why not share this stargazing experience with your children? 

Benefits of Stargazing with Children

Inspiring curiosity. Looking up at a night sky full of stars fills your child with wonder and delight.  It sparks their imagination and their curiosity.  So many questions pop into their fertile minds. 

* What are the stars?
* How did they get there?
* How far away are they?
* Who put them there?
* What are they made of?

This gives you not only great insight into the mind of your children; it also gives you a valuable teaching moment.  You can teach not only about science and astronomy but looking up to the sky also lends itself to wonderful religious and spiritual teaching moments. 

Creating memories.  What is your fondest childhood memory?  For many, it’s that special one on one time with their parent(s).  Stargazing provides you with that opportunity to connect with your children. 

Calming.  Children are so busy today they barely have time to think.  If they’re not in school, they’re doing homework, playing sports, going to scouts and other after school activities, and hanging out with friends then they’re watching television, surfing the net or playing computer games.  There’s very little time made for quiet. 

Yet quiet time is exactly what children and adults need.  Studies have shown that spending time simply looking at the sky or taking a walk in nature improves concentration, boost mood and generate feelings of well-being. 

Getting Started Stargazing with Children

In order to create a memorable stargazing experience you’ll need to take a few steps.  To begin with, you’ll need a comfortable place to lie down - grab a blanket and locate a place to stargaze. 

If your children are younger, you may want to grab a few snacks.  Decide in advance if you’re going to look at constellations. If you are, you may want to find a few pictures of the constellations show your children know what they’re looking for.  Create a list of things to look find in the sky, like the North Star, Venus, the Milky Way and so on.  Having a list seems to get the ball rolling and once you get them searching the night sky, they’ll take the ball and run with it.

If you have a telescope, then you can really focus on a few astronomical features, like exploring the craters on the moon. 

Stargazing with your children is more than a learning opportunity, though it certainly is that, it also provides you a wonderful opportunity to connect with your children, to help them grow and foster a sense of well-being.  Grab that blanket and get out there tonight!

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