Sky Watching with Family

How do you get children interested in looking at the night sky? What are some tools to help them enjoy the experience? Today, we learn about sky watching with children and how to get them excited about it.

The starry sky is rich in myths, creatures and gods. Whether it is the legends behind the zodiac, the Greek and Roman stories of celestial battles and beings, the names of the planets, or the wide variety of tales associated with celestial phenomena, the night sky is interesting. It tells tales of ancient stories, heroes, and legends. Science Fiction stories tell of extraterrestrials, spaceships, invasions and distant civilizations.

Most children are naturally curious about the objects in the sky. You teach them about the Sun, the Moon, and the clouds. You explain why the sky is blue, and why the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. But what about the night sky, which can stimulate their imagination and bring to life the celestial world?

It may be challenging to keep little ones up late at night to marvel a meteor shower, a comet passing by or an exceptionally bright starry night showcasing the Milky Way and all other celestial wonders. But there are several things you can do to make this experience more engaging for everyone.

One comes with naming a star after your child – a gift that is both meaningful and personal. Imagine the childlike wonder and excitement every time they look up to the sky and know that in the midst of thousands of twinkling stars – one shines bright just for them. You can even personalize the gift with a certificate of authenticity to make it more official. This way, the next time you’re singing ‘Twinkle, twinkle, little star’ – there will be a whole new level of depth to this favourite childhood classic.
This may very well lay the foundation of an interest in celestial bodies and astrophysics that remains with the child for life. As they grow older, you can even consider buying a telescope, so they can look at their star up close. A smartphone also offers a number of ways to enjoy the starry sky with apps that let the child point the smartphone toward the night sky and the images of constellations will populate. Planets will also fill the screen if they are in a position related to where you are standing. The app may also show the ISS orbiting the earth and its trajectory.

Sharing the amazing night sky with children will open up an amazing experience filled with stories, heroes, and legends. But it can also turn into a very personal one with naming a star after them. It’s easy and fun to enjoy the time spent with your child as both of you see the wonder of our universe and know you are a part of it.