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Learning about the stars and the sky

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Kids are very naturally curious about the stars and the sky, but you often don't get a chance to experience these directly with the children in an early learning setting, as they tend to be home and tucked back into bed by the time the stars come out! 

Here are some ideas to help you explore the idea of the stars at a child care setting. 

Make your own star torches

One way to make stars in a daytime setting is to create a star cap for a torch. You take a piece of cellophane or wrapping paper and poke holes in it or use a hole puncher to create different shapes. Then you place this hole-y cap over the torch, and you can shine the torch in a dark room to create your own star collection. This is great fun for a number of age groups, as older kids can experiment with different shapes and creating planets or comets as well as dots for stars. 

Moon and stars songs and stories

The moon and the stars are a common theme for songs and stories in kids books. It can be fun to seek out some books from the local library about cows jumping over the moon and to teach the kids some common songs like 'Zoom Zoom, We're going to the moon'. Why not send a note home to parents and check if they have any favourite space or stars songs you can teach the kids?

Plan an excursion to the planetarium

Most observatories or planetariums have fun shows and audio visual presentations that can bring the idea of travelling to the stars to life for young kids. It can be very exciting for them to see the models of the surfaces of the different planets and interact with exhibits, as this can often be easier for younger kids to grasp than simply looking at dots of light in the sky. They may also be able to see the stars more clearly in these shows, particularly if you live in a large city, as light pollution often means that the stars are not that visible until very late in the night or early in the morning. 

If you have some kids who are interested in space in your child care centre, you can turn stars into a fun early learning theme even during the day, with a little creativity. For more ideas, contact an early learning center like Jenny's Kindergarten.