Stargazing with Kids

How to stargaze on warm summer evenings to inspire a sense of awe about the universe.
By Melody Warnick
May 20, 2014

Ages

4-13

Gaithersburg, Maryland.

May 20, 2014

Start Early
The sky is darkest after midnight, but you’ll still be able to spot the moon, a few planets, and the most brilliant stars right after sunset. Get the full effect on a camping trip, when bedtimes are more relaxed.

Get the Gear
Increase your child’s understanding with an astronomy app like The Night Sky (iOS and Android, $1) or 10x50 binoculars, which magnify stars well and are easier for kids to hold steady than a telescope.

Find the Pictures
Think of the galaxy as a game of connect-the-dots; challenge kids to find constellations. Read legends about common ones, like Orion and Perseus, to help kids remember what they’ve seen.

Follow a Star
The darkness above can become comfortingly familiar if you teach little ones to look for a few easy-to-spot features again and again. Two to return to: the Big Dipper and Venus.

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Universe and Stars