Stargazing is a wonderful way to spend time with your children – and a great way to turn that time into something educational. Astronomy is more than just gazing at stars – it teaches children about the universe, provides them with what can be a lifelong hobby or even a career later in life.
Astronomy is more than just grabbing a set of binoculars or a telescope and looking into the night’s sky. To get a true appreciation of the wonderment the constellations can bring, spend an evening with your children looking at the sky the way it was meant to be seen – with the naked eye. This allows your child to really get an idea of just how enormous the sky is and the beauty it contains, without the restriction of a telescope lens.
Start by teaching your children to look at and understand the phases of the moon and the bigger, easy-to-see constellations like The Big Dipper and the North Star. You’ll be surprised how excited your children will be when they can recognize a constellation and can point out at to you.
Now, if you aren’t sure about the constellations yourself, this presents a new opportunity for you to learn right along with your children. You can either take a class – sometimes your local library or science museum will offer classes perfect for beginners. There is also plenty of software and websites out there that can turn your computer into a mini planetarium.
Perhaps the biggest attraction to astronomy is that you are only limited by your own imagination. When you and your children have grasped the basics of stargazing, you can literally spend hours discovering all that the universe has to offer.