I’ve always been fascinated by the night sky. There were many nights growing up when I would sit in the cool, quiet dark of night and stare at the stars mesmerized. Being a field guide junkie from way back, I would check out constellation guides and planet books from the library and try to identify what I was seeing.
Related link: DIY Constellation Viewer
To me, outer space held such mystery. What was out there? How far does it go? It there anyone else out there wondering the same thing?
Does the night sky hold that same wonder for your kids? Does it inspire them to want to learn more? Does it stir up the spirit of exploration in them?
Whether your answer is yes or no, you can still introduce them to the wonders of outer space. Who knows. You might have an astronaut or an astronomer in your house!
Our Solar System
A great way to introduce your kids to the outer space is by teaching them about our own celestial neighborhood – our solar system. A solar system is all the planets, moons, asteroids, dust and other matter that orbit a sun.
Our solar system contains eight planets – Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. For many years, we counted Pluto as one of our planets, but because of recent discoveries, Pluto is now known as a dwarf planet.
You can use a simple mnemonic device to remember the order of the planets. A mnemonic device takes the first letter of each planet and uses them as the first letters in the words of a sentence. This makes something such as an ordered list easy to remember. You can use this sentence to remember the order of the planets – My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Noodles.
Solar System Printables
Our solar system is fascinating. Each of the planets has very distinctive characteristics and the sun itself is a wonder. Use these solar system printables to learn more. Fill in the form below and they will be sent to your inbox – FREE!
More Solar System Resources
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KidsAstronomy.com – Learn about the planets and see them move in their orbits around the sun with their interactive program.
NASA – This is an awesome, interactive site from NASA to teach kids about the solar system.
DK FindOut! – This is a gorgeous, online solar system reference book from the creators of the DK Eyewitness books.