Outer Space Activities for Toddlers
If there’s one thing that a toddler loves more than anything else, it’s learning new things. That includes space and science. They love going on field trips to museums and planetariums.
And what better way to learn about outer space than to recreate it in your backyard?
There are so many ways to teach kids about space, whether through books, videos, crafts, games, or even art projects.
But how do you know which ones are appropriate for your child? What age is too young to start teaching them about space? And what will be helpful once they grow up and leave home?
What Do You Teach Preschoolers About Space?
The first step to learning what to teach your child about space is to find out what interests them about space, planets, galaxies, stars, and even people like astronauts or the spaceships they used.
The age at which you start teaching your children about the different aspects of space should be aimed toward their age and level of understanding.
When do you introduce a child to space?
An excellent general rule is that preschoolers should start learning about outer space around two to four years old.
The concept of planets begins to emerge in a child’s mind at this age.
It also coincides with when most kids develop an interest in nature.
For younger children under two years old, you can start introducing them to the idea of space by showing them pictures of objects in orbit around Earth, such as satellites, airplanes, and weather balloons. You could also talk to them about what happens during a launch or landing.
Once a kid can understand what space means, he can continue learning more about it.
Some great concepts include the solar system, comets, meteorites, the moon, Earth, Mars, the sun, and the Milky Way galaxy.
How Do I Teach My Toddler About Space?
Toddlers are eager learners. They’re eager to explore, discover, and absorb everything around them. As long as you keep teaching them new things, they’ll never stop wanting to learn more.
So if you want to introduce your toddler to space, here are some tips to follow:
Start by talking about space. Ask questions and make sure they understand what you’re saying. Talk about what you’re seeing in outer space today.
Show them photos and videos from places like the International Space Station. Explain why astronauts go up to space, what they do, and why exploring our universe is important.
Give them a globe
Explain that the Earth is surrounded by a ball of gas called the atmosphere. Let them touch the globe and point out the different continents they see on it.
Show them images of planets, stars, and galaxies.
Tell them that astronomers study these objects to find out more about them. Explain to them how far away they are.
Ask them to draw a picture of the solar system.
Have your toddler label each planet and give them names like Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto.
Encourage them to ask questions.
Have them tell you what they think the solar system is made of. What does the sky look like from space? Where would you go if you wanted to travel to space?
Take them outside
Have them look up at the night sky. Point out the stars and planets. Help them identify prominent stars and constellations and tell them about the seasons.
Let them watch videos
Astronauts, pilots, and explorers. Get them involved by asking them to guess what they are doing and why they are going to those places.
Let them create their own space toys.
Help them choose what kind of toy they’d like to build and draw pictures of what they might look like.
With a 3D printer
You can take things further and create your own models. Or you can buy kits that come complete with instructions. Either way, it’s exciting for young children to see their creations flying around the room.
In addition to having fun, teaching your child about space helps them develop critical thinking skills. It gives them a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world and helps them gain self-confidence.
It also increases their knowledge of science, math, engineering, and technology.
When you combine all of these aspects, you end up with future scientists who are well-prepared to tackle the challenges of their adult lives!