Summer is officially here and while you’re looking for activities to fill long summer days and nights, don’t forget that there’s an adventure waiting for your whole family right in your own backyard. Simply turn off the lights and look up!
Create a night of summer fun for your family with these 5 backyard stargazing ideas.
1. Create a play space to spark the imagination with this adorable Observatory Play Tent*.
For younger children, talk to them and point out the moon and some constellations in the sky, then let them loose to explore with their imaginations as well as with their eyes. They can be great explorers creating new constellations by connecting stars to make new shapes. Provide drawing materials and have them draw what they observe in the night sky.
*So not a planetarium tent, sorry Amazon.
2. Keep the lights and the smart phones off and use a Red LED Flashlight.
Once the lights are out, your eyes will become adjusted to the darkness and you will be amazed at how much of the night sky you will be able to see. Keep those lights out and phones off or you will have to wait until your eyes adjust to darkness again. Use a red LED flashlight to see where you are going while still preserving your night vision super powers.
3. Use a Night Sky Wheel to easily locate constellations.
To be successful recognizing constellations for any time of night, any day of the year, use a Night Sky Wheel. Make sure you pick the wheel made for your location on planet earth, it is a big planet after all!
4. Get up close to the moon using a MoonScope.
Take a tour of the moon with Nancy B’s Science Club MoonScope. Look, learn, and observe with 90x magnification to get up close to mountain ranges and craters on the moon. The included Sky Gazer’s Journal is packed with fun activities and encourages independent, parent-free learning.
5. Keep a Night Sky Journal.
Encourage your family to contribute to a Night Sky Journal each time you plan a backyard stargazing night. Keep notes on what you observed, what time and where in the sky. The journal will show you how the sky changes over time and can become a wonderful family keepsake.