Got your head in the clouds? Perfect! These astronomy-themed activities are designed to inspire stargazers-in-training ages 4-8.
Home to one of the largest all-digital planetarium domes on the planet, the Academy is as fascinated by heavenly happenings as Earthly ones. Get ready to space out with a constellation of videos, crafts, and astronomy resources.
Please note: While Science @ Home activities are designed to be conducted by kids, some little ones might need adult help with reading instructions and preparing crafts.
Day 1: Sun
Kick off the week with a celebration of the star of our solar system and a hands-on investigation of the science of shadows. (30-60 minutes)
Academy educator Ethan sheds some light on how the Sun’s path across the sky changes how your shadow appears.
While you watch this video, think about the two questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.
- Where have you seen shadows before?
- How do shadows change over a day? When do they get bigger or smaller?
Day 2: Moon
The Moon rocks! Embark on an out-of-this-world journey to learn the secrets of Earth’s nearest celestial neighbor. (60-90 minutes)
Blast off to the moon with Academy educator Mary and gain a new appreciation for our nearest celestial neighbor.
While watching this video, think about the two questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.
- Have you seen the Moon in the sky before? What did it look like?
- Would you like to visit the Moon one day? What would it be like?
Day 3: Stars
More than just pretty points of light in the sky, stars are windows into other worlds—and help us find our place in the Universe. (45-60 minutes)
When the Sun goes down, the stars come out, and the light show begins! Use your imagination to see shapes—or constellations—formed by stars in the night sky.
While you watch this video, think about the three questions below. Share your answers with a friend or family member or just think in your head.
- What do you notice as the Sun sets? What happens to the sky?
- Have you ever seen stars in the night sky? Does the sky in the video look different? Why might that be?
- What have you seen in the sky besides stars?
Day 4: Observe the sky
It’s time to put what you’ve learned about our sky to the test by building your own binoculars and heading out into the wild dark yonder! (30-60 minutes)
Get creative and color in your own nocturnal skywatching scene.
Kid & caregiver extension activities
Star light, star bright, wishing for more sky-related content tonight? See below to continue your astronomy adventure.
Our planetarium team puts together this incredibly informative field guide to the stars every three months. Don’t leave home without it!
Our planetarium presenters host livestream events on Facebook several times a week to bring the Universe to you!
Asterisms are shapes or patterns of stars in the sky. Discover their ancient history in this PDF.
This interactive website lets you see constellations from the perspective of a variety of diverse cultures from around the world.
Stellarium is an online star map that offers a state-of-the-art virtual view of the night sky in your area, including billions of stars and constellations.
Keep your mind open while the Academy is closed with an eclectic array of science content for all ages.