Officrèche Blog

Space, the first and final frontier – five ways to look at space with young children

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EXPLORING space is amazing.

Preschoolers have enjoyed in Officréche’s Yellow Room have built a rocket as they learn about space, writes Sarah Booker Lewis.

My three-year-old is very excited by the whole project. We have talked about men going to the moon on a big rocket called Saturn 5.

With foil mini rockets on the walls and images of the stars, it’s a wonderful way to expand their perception.

We look out for the moon, day and night. She loves to see the stars.

“How many stars are there mummy?” she asks.

“More than you can ever imagine,” I reply.

To give her an idea of how incomprehensibly large the universe is, I let her look at the 2015 Hubble telescope picture of our neighbour, the Andromeda galaxy.

Billed as the largest picture ever by NASA, it is more than 2GB and animation zooming in on a tiny portion of the image shows stars and galaxies dotting the sky in infinite numbers

No matter how young they are, it is never too early to encourage them to learn about the universe.

Here are four simple things you can do from babyhood to preschool, to open your child’s mind to space, apart from just looking at a deep field image.

1. Go for a moon walk. Not Michael Jackson style, but move slowly with exaggerated arm and leg movements.

2. Look at the phases of the moon. Is it growing (waxing) or fading (waning). Can you make out the dark side. Is it there in the day?

Create a textured moon painting complete with craters as part of your moon exploration.

Textured moon painting with craters

Textured moon painting with craters

3. Watch the International Space Station fly overhead.

INS is only visible when the sun hits its solar panels, so the early evenings means we can spot the station at 5pm, rather than later in the evening.

It has a golden colour as it takes approximately three minutes to pass overhead.

Last Christmas Eve we waved to Major Tim.

It is passing over Brighton most evenings at the moment. When you spot it wave to the astronauts.

Keep track of when it flies over Brighton and Hove via NASA’s ISS website.

4. Make shapes with the starts like a dot-to-dot. Don’t be restricted by the official constellations. Be imaginative.

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