Stargazing Benefits for Kids – What can the Stars Teach your Child?

Once thought to be little more than simply a romantic pastime, stargazing is now considered to be an educational activity for kids that can teach them about math, astronomy, the environment and mythology.
Most kids are so distracted by mundane activities that they have no idea of their place and role in the world or universe. Stargazing helps kids develop that much-needed perspective. And what’s more, you don’t have to an expert astronomer in order to teach your kids about stars!

Here are some of the top reasons why stargazing for kids is good.

Gazing at the stars will naturally lead to questions about the planets, galaxies, meteors and constellations, the universe and how it evolved, how it is in a continuous state of flux, and the fate of the earth. So when you sit down to stargaze with your kids, be prepared to answer their questions (and there will be many) about what they are looking at. If possible, have a stellar map handy or just whip out those binoculars and let the kids enjoy the view. Wide open spaces away from the lights and pollution of the city are best for teaching your child about the wonders of the night sky.

Environmental awareness
First-time stargazers are quick to learn that night lights, especially in urban areas, create light pollution that prevents us from seeing the beauty of the skies. Light pollution also harms the ecology of the planet:

  • Bright city lights confuse migratory birds into flying in circles until they drop from exhaustion.
  • Sea turtles refuse to nest on brightly lit beaches.
  • Insects, mesmerized with the lights, die of starvation.
  • Night lights interfere with the biological rhythms and behavior of nocturnal animals.

A stargazing child learns that light pollution affects more than his view of the skies – it has a devastating impact on the world around us.

This might come as a surprise, but stargazing offers a great opportunity to introduce your child to math concepts such as counting, identifying shapes, and tracing patterns. You can make it a fun activity where the whole family can participate! Any place that has a good view of the night skies will do! Your child will love the idea of learning his numbers from the sky instead of chalkboard or paper and probably master them faster this way. Not only does he get a rare opportunity to stay up late, but the beauty of the night sky is a sight he will enjoy and remember for years.

While the benefits of stargazing have been well documented, many parents and kids still do not engage in this activity. Head to the terrace tonight and unleash the wonders of the stars to your kids!


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