How to Introduce Solar System to Preschoolers
Our solar system is a vast science concept that needs thorough learning and explanation. It may seem intimidating to teach kids about this but with proper tools and appropriate level of teaching, we can explain the concept of space and universe to them. Here are some techniques I used to introduce the solar system to my space loving guy.
The universe holds no boundaries. It is as far as the eye can see and beyond! To quote Buzz Lightyear: “To infinity and beyond!” Even the greatest technology and scientists are continuously searching for new discoveries outside the Earth. Kids are as intrigued as adults do. We can’t stop these young minds from asking about the stars, moon and the sun because they are truly fascinating. These concepts are also part of their nursery rhymes like “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Stars” and “Mr. Golden Sun”.
Find a good opportunity to introduce the solar system to your toddlers. How? Keep it simple and entertaining. And I warn you as soon as you get their interest in learning about the planets, they won’t stop asking questions.
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How To Explain Solar System to Toddlers
You can take your kids outside at night time. Observe how naturally they get curious about the stars and the moon. When you get their attention, you can start teaching the solar system by saying that the sun is also a star.
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t do well in Science in elementary, high school, or college. We do have Google now, don’t we? What matters is that you take the time to cultivate the curiosity and inquisitiveness of your child.
Here are some interesting facts to introduce solar system to preschoolers.
Mercury is the smallest and first planet from the sun. Venus is the second planet and the hottest. Earth is the only planet with life and water. It is where we live and the third from the sun. Next planet is Mars, the red planet. It has the tallest mountain in the solar system named Olympus Mons.
The next four planets are called gas giants. Jupiter is the fifth planet and the biggest of all. It has a red spot of raging storm and can fit thousands of earth’s. Saturn is the sixth planet and has 8 rings around it. Uranus is an ice giant and tipped over to its side. It is the seventh planet from the sun. The last and the eight planet is Neptune. One year in Neptune equals 165 years on earth.
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Tools to Introduce Solar System to Preschoolers
Solar System books
As we develop a culture of reading, books can be a great tool for teaching solar system to toddlers. The National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of Space has simple text and colorful graphics perfect for the young ones. It may probably lead to instant space fascination as you read and recite the planets one by one. It also features other space bodies like the dwarf planets, stars and asteroids.
If your preschooler is more inclined to story-kind of learning, then who you gonna call? He is everyone’s favorite cat, the Cat in the Hat. The book “There’s No Place Like Space: All About Our Solar System” is a combination of fun and educational spin on the solar system. With its classic rhymes and humor, Cat in the Hat with his friends explores the wonders of space.
Songs and Videos
There are tons of songs and videos suitable for younger kids that teach about the solar system. My toddler came across the song “The Planet Song for Kids” by Kids Learning Tube on YouTube and it became our family theme song for a while. The song has a very simple melody for kids to follow but the lyrics are factual with a lot of “fun” sprinkled in there.
You can find different versions of planet songs and nursery rhymes on Youtube. But if your toddler can’t get enough of the solar system, you can also check out shows like “Miles From Tomorrowland” and “The Magic School Bus Rides Again:Kids in Space”.
Activities and Crafts
Scholars believe that children thrive in multisensory learning approaches. By involving different senses: sight, touch and hearing, they use several areas of their brain for better memory and learning. In this light, I bought an outer space felt story board where my toddler learned how to arrange the planets in order. And even if he can’t read yet, he can correctly label each planet.
For more craft and activity ideas, you can check out this video on how to make a 3D solar system. You can also do solar system coloring pages or interactive role playing of the planets.
Trip to U.S. Space and Rocket Center
To wrap up our solar system learning experience, we visited the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama. We saw a large collection of rocketship and space memorabilias.
Sparkling the kids’ imagination through these learning tools can foster an early love for learning and exploration. There is no proper timeline when to introduce the solar system to preschoolers. As soon as they show interest, grab it as an opportunity to cultivate a life-long love for learning among kids.