It can be easy to lose hope in today's world. As we struggle for understanding, common ground, and unity, the current state of things impacts us — adults and kids alike. It can be easy to become shortsighted when we see how far we have to go. It can be easy to forget about how far we have come! And how much farther we can go in the future.
One way to reconnect with what can seem like lost hope is to take a step back — to see things from a bigger perspective. Gazing at the night sky with wonder, awe, and curiosity is something humans have been doing for thousands of years. That curiosity and thirst for learning have inspired some of our greatest achievements and most awe-inspiring moments. This sense of wonder is something that we can begin cultivating when our children are young.
This week, we've put together our best resources to help encourage kids to explore that sense of wonder, awe, and curiosity about our planet and the mysteries of outer space. Keep scrolling for fun and engaging activities, crafts, and of course stories!
The Mars Perseverance Rover: NASA Science for Kids
2021 is a big year for space exploration! More trips to the International Space Station, a new Rocket Launch System, and even tests on Mars are all in store. Earlier this year, the Mars Perseverance Rover touched down in a region of Mars called the Jerezo Crater. This fun, kid-friendly information page is perfect for giving curious young minds to dig in!
Invent Your Own Planet Game: Corporation for Public Broadcasting
This free printable PDF from PBS helps kids get creative and tap into imagination as they build and explore their own planet (and even practice explaining Earth to the inhabitants of their new world)!
Make colorful star cookies: NASA Space Place – NASA Science for Kids
Here is a fun, interactive activity that exposes kids to celestial facts and learning in a way that is both hands-on and delicious! These cookies have "see-through centers."
Fun Fact: A star's color tells us how hot or cold it is (bluish stars are hotter and reddish stars are cooler). To incorporate this learning element with your little ones, try this similar recipe (with a special twist!) from Sparkle Stories' own archives here. These star cookies incorporate colorful candied centers — experiment with different colors!