Celebrating International Space Day!
On the first Friday of each May, space and science fans alike celebrate all the amazing things about space with a dedicated day of observance to everything in the great beyond!
International Space Day is a day dedicated to spread awareness of the mysteries of outer space. This special day is the perfect opportunity to promote an interest in STEM with young children! All over the world events are held at local schools, museums, and planetariums. Scientific organizations provide highlights of historical flashbacks and pivotal research about all things celestial. It’s not just Science Fiction anymore!
National Space Day was created in 1997 by the Lockheed Martin Corporation as a one-day event. In 2001 former astronaut and Senator John Glenn expanded Space Day to International Space Day and widened the scope of this celebration across the world.
Ways to Celebrate International Space Day
There are several fun ways to celebrate International Space Day with your children! Some ideas include:
Go to your local library and take out books about space. Learn about your favorite planets, or even space travel itself.
Go to a science museum and learn about all things space, including our solar system, the makeup of each planet, or read up on the work of astronauts throughout the decades.
Take a look at NASA’s website or social channels and see what they have been up to – there’s sure to be something that piques your child's interest!
Snuggle up on the sofa and watch some space documentaries.
Visit your closest space museum and spend the day exploring the exhibitions and learn more about astronomy.
Wait until dark and lie outside and look up at the wonder of the stars! See how many constellations you can identify!
STEM Space Activities for Young Children
Recreate our galaxy! Using basic supplies found at any local craft store (Styrofoam balls, wire, colored pens, or paint) do research on the location of the planets in the solar system and create a fun model! You can even turn this into a mobile that hangs in your child's bedroom!
Design a planet. Have your child use their imagination and create their own planet. Ask your kids to write (and/or draw) a description of their planet: does it have oxygen? Are there oceans or water? What type of creatures live there? They can use clay, paints, paper mache, or drawings to bring their imaginary planet to life!
Make Moon Sand: This fun activity requires only 8 cups of flour and 1 cup of baby oil, and you can create cool moon sand that can make (and hold!) any shape! Don't worry - it's soft and super easy to clean up.
Teach kids how planets orbit the sun with an easy, fun activity that only needs Playdough, a blue ball, and a pie tin! Go here for further instructions.
Make your own constellations! Look in a book or go online with your child to see what some of the most famous constellations look like. Recreate these constellations using only toothpicks and small marshmallows! And the best part is your kids can have a fun snack at the end!
What are some ideas you have to celebrate International Space Day with your child? Let us know in the comments!