Many children are curious about outer space.

How to Explain the Moon and Stars to a Preschooler

by Kathryn Hatter

Looking up at the night sky can thrill and fascinate a youngster with its expansive and unknown space. Capitalize on that excitement about astronomy and give your preschooler some captivating information about the moon and stars. By exploring space together, you may both learn new and interesting facts about the night sky and the beautiful, celestial bodies floating up there above the Earth.

Wander outside with your tot on a clear night to take a peek at the sky. Spread a blanket on the ground, kick back and study the sky to notice both the moon and the stars. Point out the moon to your child and the twinkling stars to get her interested in learning more.

Tell your little one that the stars in the sky are like the sun, except they are farther away from Earth than the sun. Explain to your child that the reason the sun gives the Earth so much light is because it is so close to Earth. Tell your child that stars have different levels of brightness and temperature, and that the sun is a “yellow star,” which is a medium-size star, according to the website.

Explain that the moon travels around the Earth, taking about one month to get all the way around, according to the StarChild website. Remind your child about how sometimes the moon looks round like a ball and other times it looks like a thin crescent and then explain that this happens because of the moon moving around the Earth. Tell your child that scientists call the moon’s different shapes “phases.”

Read some books about the moon and stars to your little one to explain these concepts more fully. You might read “What’s Out There?: A Book About Space” by Lynn Wilson, “On the Moon,” by Anna Milbourne and “Sun, Moon and Stars” by Stephanie Turnbull. After reading, answer any questions your tot has about outer space, stars and the moon.

Get your child busy making a picture of the night sky. Provide a large sheet of black construction paper and some gold, silver and white crayons. Help your child decide which phase of the moon he wants to draw and watch as he adds the moon and twinkling stars to his picture.

Items you will need

  • Preschool books
  • Black construction paper
  • Gold, silver and white crayons

About the Author

Kathryn Hatter is a veteran home-school educator, as well as an accomplished gardener, quilter, crocheter, cook, decorator and digital graphics creator. As a regular contributor to Natural News, many of Hatter's Internet publications focus on natural health and parenting. Hatter has also had publication on home improvement websites such as Redbeacon.

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