Space and the solar system can often be a tricky topic for kids to grasp. After all, the concept of spinning planets and infinite space is hard to explain!
We chat to Kirsten Banks, astronomy educator who works at the Sydney Observatory to find out more about getting kids excited about space.
How do you make space exciting to kids?
Space is very exciting and colourful. When teaching children about space, I like to focus on the wonderment of it all. How big it is, how vast it is. It’s all about inspiring children to want to learn more for themselves.
I think we should educate kids about astronomy very early in life. Speculating the wonders of the universe can promote an incredible imagination and fulfil a sense of place in the universe.
What are three out of this world astronomy facts to teach your kids?
I always like to go for the big facts:
- The Sun is so big that it can fit 1.5 million Earths inside of it!
- You can fit all of the other planets in between the Earth and the Moon, with room to spare!
- When we look out into space, we’re looking back in time! For example, when we look toward the most distant galaxies in the universe, we’re looking more than 13 billion years into the past.
What can parents do to get support kids learning about space?
There are many great fun activities that you can do with your children to support an exciting learning environment in astronomy and space. One simple thing you can do is go out at night and look up at the night sky, and if the clouds come in to rain on your parade, Starlink: Battle for Atlas is fantastic. Starlink is a wonderful learning environment that promotes imagination and exploration and gets the whole family involved.
Image: Starlink: Battle for Atlas