Solar System Activities for Kids

Solar System Activities for Kids

Every afternoon, while I work on my laptop and my 3-year-old takes his nap, my daughter reads anything that she fancies. For weeks, the books I saw her read were about the solar system. So, when she asked me if we could learn about stars and constellations, I knew it was time to focus on the topic. Her dad sparked this interest by pointing out, or at least talking about,  the different constellations every time we would go out for some fresh night air.

Immersing ourselves in the sun, stars, and planets was easy, since interest was already there. Here are the highlights of our two weeks in space. Enjoy the solar system activities for kids!

 

Books

I always make sure that we have a good mix of reference and picture books when learning about anything scientific. Here are good titles to look out for. (Please note that these links are Amazon affiliate links and we would earn a bit of commission if you buy any of these books after clicking on the links.)

 

Activities

We truly enjoyed the activities in our KaHone Outer Space Box. We made a simple paper rocket that we blew to space with a straw, an alien headband (no chance that I’ll post a photo of me wearing that!), and the Earth, Sun, and Moon,

Kahone Earth

studied using a flashlight how the Sun lights up the Earth and Moon,

kahone 1

and lit up a fire with the power of the sun using a magnifying glass. Silly me, I first let the kids try it with a fresh green leaf instead of a dry one!

kahone 2

We were also finally able to install our Uncle Milton Solar System  In My Room, which I had my mom give the kids last Christmas (hehe). Itcomes with an audio CD presentation about the planets and a light pointer for you to shine on the planet being talked about in the CD. It’s nice to just lie down and stare at the planets whir around the sun.

2014-07-08 09.05.30

We attempted to look at the stars with our low-tech telescope (it says National Geographic on the box) but we couldn’t focus it. We could not even see the moon! So, we checked out the constellations with the iPad app Sky Safari, which guides you in looking for the constellations.

2014-07-12 19.27.36

And of course, we visited the Philippine Science Centrum for the second time to specifically look at their space exhibit. It’s a truly interactive museum that is great for kids as young as 5 years old. We checked our weight in the different planets,

2014-07-04 14.33.52

looked at the constellations,

2014-07-04 14.39.06-1

experimented with the phases of the moon (the exhibit is really simple and clear),

2014-07-04 14.50.34

and donned a spacesuit (it’s really just a video camera that shows your face on the screen inside the astronaut’s helmet).

2014-07-04 14.52.31-1

Oh, and we read the book The Magic School Bus Sees Stars and watched its video version.

magic school bus sees stars

We also memorized the order of the planets through this handy mnemonic: My Very Earnest Mother Just Served Us Nine Pickles for Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune.

Have you studied the solar system with your kids? What other fun activities did you do?

Make magic!

Mariel Uyquiengco

Meet “Jepoy Dyip” – An Exclusive Giveaway

jepoy-dyip1

 

Si Jepoy Dyip is the brand new 6-book series by our favorite Filipino author and illustrator, Jomike Tejido. The first time I saw Jepoy through an advanced digital copy (Thanks, Jomike!), I literally shrieked with delight. Jomike has truly outdone himself with the concept, storyline, and illustrations of these books.

My first thought: how lucky are the kids who will get to know Jepoy Dyip!

 

What is it about?

The books are about Jepoy and his adventures in the busy streets of the town of Pag-asa. The first book, which will be officially launched today at the  National Children’s Book Day celebration in Museong Pambata, is about how Jepoy finds his own niche amidst the many vehicles plying his town.

Children will feel for Jepoy as he encounters failures, and they will surely cheer for him as he eventually becomes the town hero.

Aside from the bright illustrations, children will love that each story comes with a toy. Jomike, who also happens to be the creator of Foldabots, includes 3D paper crafts in each book so you can make your own town scene featuring Jepoy and his friends.

Don’t worry, craft-challenged moms and dads, there is a YouTube channel that shows you how to build the toys. Re-enact the entire Jepoy series or, even better, spark your child’s creative juices by letting him tell his own Jepoy stories!

jepoy-2

 

What I love most about the entire series, however, is its depiction of very Filipino sights and experiences. I have read the first book and it truly feels like home.

From the main character to the townscape, children will be able to relate with everything that they see and read about in Jepoy Dyip. It would even make a great gift for relatives abroad who want their children to have a taste of Filipino culture.

photo

After a year in the making, Jomike is finally ready to introduce his latest baby to the world. We got a first glimpse of the completed diorama at our “Planning Your Literature-Based Preschool Homeschool” workshop last Saturday. Jomike was our honored guest!

photo-1

Oh, if you’re wondering why  we’re such big fans of Jomike Tejido, click here.

 

An exclusive giveaway

We are so honored to be hosting a giveaway of one Jepoy Dyip – Book 1 today, National Children’s Book Day. Jomike is coursing all his giveaways through The Learning Basket. We will have another giveaway in September, with all 6 books (1 set) going to one winner.

For now, though, dear friends, please be happy with our giveaway of the first Jepoy Dyip book.

Click here to join the giveaway!

 

Have fun!

sanne

 

4 Things Kids Get To Do When We Don’t Bring Entertainment For Them

I’m not the type to lug around a big bag full of toys and books when I go out with my kids. It just never crossed my mind. After all, I hardly remember to bring wipes and extra shirts for them!

We have recently been out and about more than usual. And strange as it my sound, it just dawned on me one time that my children are quite well behaved. They are so very easy to be with, even when we were out really late.

I realized that because I wasn’t whipping out an iPad, a book, or a sword out of my bag, Little T and Little Sir found ways to occupy themselves. I decided to observe them some more and discovered 4 things kids get to do when they don’t have entertainment in front of them.

 No need to entertain kids

1. They practice their observation skills

Observing people and surroundings is not just idling about, but is actually a great learning activity. Children think about what they have observed and make conclusions about it.

Like other curious kids, my son notices the most mundane details about people and things. He lets simmer what he has seen in the cauldron of his mind and asks me about them days or weeks after.

 

2. They talk to people

Tablets and smartphones are the death of conversations. Instead of talking to each other, we tend to just look down on those little bright screens.

Banning gadgets when going out has allowed our family to be engaged with each other. We talk, laugh, and just enjoy each other’s company. It has also enabled us to encourage our usually reserved daughter to “go ask the waiter,” “tell the lady what you need,” and “say hi to the little girl if you want to play with her.”

 

3. They get creative

I believe in children’s innate ability to make up something with what appears to be nothing. After all, I was a child once and in the period of daily nationwide black outs at that!

Experts agree that boredom should be welcomed, because as Dr. Teresa Belton says, it is “an important trigger for creativity.” My children’s creativity on a restaurant table actually inspired this blog post. They found the order number stand fascinating and made up stories around it as they pretended that it was a slide.

 

4. They try different activities

Without a book or a toy to distract them into their own zone, kids get to look around and see what they can possibly do. This leads them to try activities they might have otherwise missed.

My aunt recently died and during the wake, I couldn’t help my cousin because Little Sir was asleep in my arms. And though “enjoy” is a word I’d rather not use in relation to death, Little T enjoyed her time offering food and drinks to other mourners. She hadn’t done anything like it before.

 

My bag usually only has Little Sir’s superman cape-cum-bib and it’s a major effort to remember to bring extra shirts and snacks for him and his sister. Blame my forgetfulness and general disorganization, but I don’t mind not bringing anything else, especially entertainment, when we go out. My kids don’t need it.

What have you observed about your kids when you go out?

 

Make magic!

Mariel Uyquiengco