How to teach your preschooler about space

Children ask a lot of questions about the immediate world around them but nothing seems to excite them more than the science they can't quite touch or see in real life (hello Dinosaurs!) Space is one of those subjects with questions asked about far away, ethereal objects that we sometimes can't even get our head around as adults.

Take a look at a couple of our favourite experiments that bring life in space closer to home.

Discover the Moon with your sense of taste

Nothing is more stable than the moon in a child's life. It is there to say goodnight to each evening, it is sometimes there in the morning when the sun has risen much to some children's surprise and who hasn't sat in the back of a car on a long, dark journey home and wondered how the Moon has followed you the whole way.

Why is the moon a different shape each night?

If you've ever had this question we have the perfect experiment to help you explain it and it just involves a packet of biscuits. yum!

The reason you can't see the whole moon every night is because it relies on the sun to light it up. The sun gives the moon it's 'moonlight'. As the Earth and sun move it means we see a different part of the moon through the months while the rest is in shadow. 

1. Print out our Phases of the moon here or even just open it up on your screen when you are ready and work from that.

Phases of the Moon Sheet

2. Grab a pack of Oreos and take out one for each phase and another to pop into your mouth.

3. Take the lids off and start trying to match each phase to your very own Oreo moon. Now you will see that you will need to scrape some filling out to get them to match. The best way to do this is with a spoon that you can put straight into your mouth. We told you it was yummy!

Exploring Astronaut life with your sense of touch

The questions about life as an astronaut are always fun. Where does their wee go? How to they sleep? Can they wash themselves?

While many are there for research, a lot of the time they have to fix things out in space and usually they are very fiddly. 

Doesn't sound so tough yet, but imagine now having to fix those fiddly things with your huge spacesuit on! 

1. Grab a few handfuls of Lego or building blocks, a timer of some sort (or you could even just count out loud) and some thick gardening gloves.

2. Time yourselves against each other or as a team to build a space buggy with the gardening gloves on. You can either build one each or working as a team pass the gloves to the next person when the timer goes off. 

It's not as easy as it sounds....

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