What to Pack
- Star search. Look for a planetarium near you. Go to the Tourist Information Directory. Then go to the planetarium's Web site to preview programs for families.
- Enjoy the show. Many planetariums offer light shows that explore the solar system of planets and stars and/or programs about rocket flight.
- Explore. Look for exhibits showing moon rocks, astronaut gear, and models of planets and spaceships.
- Investigate: Ask your young space explorer:
- What planet do we live on?
- Looking at a model of Earth, what are the blue areas? The green? The white?
- How many planets are there?
- Which ones are closest to earth? (Venus and Mars)
- Which planet has rings? (Saturn)
- Are all the planets the same size? (Jupiter is so big all the other planets could fit inside.)
- Does the Earth move? (It rotates once every 24 hours and orbits the sun once every year.)
- Why do astronauts float in space? (No gravity.)
- Who do they have to wear space suits? (Inside a space suit, there is oxygen, water, a radio transmitter and other things astronauts need to survive. It protects astronauts from the sun and flying bits of rock.)
- Which planet would you like to visit?
- Read all about it. Check out Astronaut Handbook by Meghan McCarthy, Fancy Nancy Sees Stars by Jane O'Connor, First Space Encyclopedia by DK Publishing and I Want to Be an Astronaut by Byron Barton.
Educational Perks When kids look up at the night sky, they often ask what's out there. A planetarium helps kids imagine the worlds that exist beyond our everyday experiences.
Bonus Explorer Activity Pretend you're the sun and your child is the Earth. Can she spin like a top while trying to run in a circle around you? Then switch roles and get ready to all fall down ... all thanks to you-know-what—gravity!
For more ways to explore together, play Dora's Great Big World game, find do-together Dora crafts, recipes, and activities, and print a personalized Explorer Kit for your child at DoraTheExplorer.com.
Thanks to Susan Hood
BACK: Dora's July 4th Parade Expedition / NEXT: Dora's Stargazing Expedition