Things to Read and Do - Outer Space Books and Activities

Since I've spent the week talking about planets and rocket ships, I figured now is the perfect time to discuss our favorite space books and activities.



1. The Night Sky Iphone App - A friend told me about this app and now we can't stop using it. You simply hold your phone up to the sky at night and the app diagrams and names all the stars and planets. It's addictive. So if you see us in front of the house pointing our phone towards the moon, now you know why.


2. Planet Sticker Scenes from Oriental Trading Company - My kids love sticker scenes and these were an especially big hit. F enjoyed creating her own planet chart (rather than always looking at the ones in books). Further, the stickers contain many cosmic entities I knew nothing about - iris nebula, pleiades, chandra galaxy, etc. which lead to some fun google time. So we learn . . .


Do Stars Have Points?'s appeal rests in its Q&A format, where the authors respond to questions - such as How hot is the sun?; Which star is closest to Earth?; and Is there life elsewhere in the solar system? - with simple, concise answers. The book divides the questions into three categories - stars, planets, and other objects in space, so it covers a wide range of information. And each page contains beautiful illustrations, assuring that younger kids always have something fun to look at.

Another favorite, which is loved by all the kids (well, T loves at least loves the pictures, the text still alludes him somewhat). We've been enjoying several books from the Magic Schoolbus series lately as they're both informative and funny ("Could Saturn take a bath? Yes, but it might leave a ring!") with comic-book illustrations. I think most children's books attempt to make science too serious of a subject, so I appreciate the Magical School Bus's comical approach. In "Lost in the Solar System", the children lose their quirky teacher in the asteroid belt. The kids, of course, manage to rescue their teacher and return to earth, all while teaching the reader about outer space. How fun is that?

This book concentrates more on the myths and stories behind the constellations than on the "science" of the stars. It includes Greek legends, Philippine folktales, ancient Chinese stories, Native American myths, and much more. It also contains several games and projects concerning the sky, along with detailed astronomy maps. P and I enjoy the stories, as reading too much non-fiction starts to feel heavy after awhile.

This book on Saturn exists as part of a series, which we're slowly making our way through. We started with Saturn because of its "beautiful rings." Learning about Saturn's huge size and gaseous surface fascinated the kids. Plus the book contains lots of pictures, big text, and divisions by chapter, all of which help make complicated information easy to digest.

What about everyone else? Any good book recs on outer space?

1 comment:

  1. Such great ideas!! We're regulars at the planetarium here (S is obsessed) and can't wait to try the Night Sky app. We'll think of you all as we gaze up at the stars! :-)



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