Exploring the Night Sky with Your Kids

Exploring the Night Sky with Your Kids

6 December 2022 • Words by Kate Purnell 4 mins

Science is an incredible way to engage your child in their curiosity about the world around them. Children are natural scientists and the universe is full of mystery. As we grow, however, increasing worry about social conventions can impact our inquisitive nature about the world, and our interest in how the universe works can be bogged down by the minutiae of day-to-day life. To encourage our children’s curiosity and rekindle our own, we can look up at the night sky!

Space science is an ever-expanding field that goes way beyond the old grainy moon landing videos and the debate about whether or not Pluto is a planet or a star. The beauty captured in the images of space now is unlike anything on Earth. Simply getting your child to look up at the night sky and asking them what they see can start a lifelong love affair with space. Why is the night sky so magical to kids? Maybe it’s the wealth of unanswered questions we still have about it. It can feel daunting to explore this topic with children, but you can connect to their imagination with bedtime stories about space, such as The Magic School Bus Blasts into Space by Joanna Cole, which provides a guided tour of the universe.

If you are lucky enough to live in northern areas, such as Alaska, Canada, or Scandinavia, you can explore the aurora borealis or Northern Lights.

This magical arrangement of light takes place in the sky when clouds of gas from the sun are ejected and mixed with the Earth’s atmosphere, creating an incredible and unique light show. If having that experience in person isn’t possible, don’t worry—you can view them online along with calming music to ease your child into a restful sleep that may evoke a dream sequence filled with an extraterrestrial experience.

Another way to engage your child with the night sky is to think about how much access you have to the full view of the night sky. If you live in an area that has a lot of light, the moon is a great starting place. Observe where it rises, what shape it is, and how close it is to the horizon, and ask your child about any other details they note. To view more of the night sky, travel just outside of populated areas or invest in a simple telescope that will give you and your kids a better view of our galaxy. 

Journaling and Drawing the Night Sky

As you begin to explore the universe with your child—the solar system, the stars, the galaxy, and various constellations—why not encourage them to keep a journal of all they discover? This “Night Sky Journal” could incorporate drawings of what they see, questions they have, and answers that you find together. Perhaps you could talk about the constellations and the various myths associated with them. Find a particular star or constellation and work together to create a story about how it arrived in the night sky. You can look up images and develop painting projects to recreate the images you see to connect with the piece of writing.

Sparking your child’s imagination can be a great source for creative writing. Invite them to look at images of the moon and try to imagine what it may be like to live there on a space station, or what the journey to Mars may be like. How about alien life? Could you relocate a familiar fairy tale to another planet? How would things be different? Even something as simple as writing facts about space can get your child thinking openly about exciting new possibilities. Perhaps part of the journaling process could be brainstorming ideas about how to communicate on a space journey or discussing what kind of objects one may see—everything from meteorites to satellites to star explosions. This could be accompanied by paintings and drawings using an array of colors and materials.

Exploring Space with Moshi

Nighttime stargazing and imagining all kinds of space exploration connect naturally to a soothing and nurturing bedtime routine. Your child can look forward to winding down with a chance to dive into the creativity of their dream world, which in turn can inspire their imagination in the waking world when they are creating and sharing their ideas.

The Moshi app has calming music and bedtime stories to help your child explore their love of space science. Allow your child to be guided throughout the universe in search of Zoshlings, who are special cosmic Moshlings. A special space series featuring Buster Bumblechops includes Launching the Astro Bubble, Close Encounters of the Zoshi Kind and One Giant Leap for Moshikind. Buster guides your child through each adventure, encouraging relaxation and calm and restful sleep. With guided meditations accompanied by soothing sounds, it will be a weightless dreamlike experience that can lead to more interest and creativity around the idea of space travels and adventures. With all of these resources, you can encourage your kids to co-create a story-based meditation of their own. They can write this in their journal and reread it each night, adding to it as they go.

Embrace the Mystery and Wonderment

The grandiosity of space can be awe-inspiring and exciting.  Experiencing the change in the sky from day to night and the magic of stars appearing can encourage the young ones in your life to embrace the night and the necessity for rest and relaxation. Creating a space-themed bedroom with glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling can serve a dual purpose—an association with the imagination of space during the night time and a subtle and soft night light for those who struggle in the dark. There are countless ways you can spark your child’s imagination and involve them in their nighttime routine. And Moshi can certainly help with that! 

Kate Purnell

Kate Purnell is originally from Oakland, Ca. She currently lives in the UK teaching Secondary English and Drama. An educator, writer and all-around multi-hyphenate, you can find her trying to get her students to fall in love with the power of the human story, writing her own or attempting to not be distracted during her yoga class. You can find her on Twitter and IG @KatePurnell