Monday, July 4, 2011

Summer camp at home: Week 4 -- Space

With the last space shuttle launch happening on Friday, this is the perfect week to focus on space for summer "camp" at home.

We live about a three-hour drive away from the "Space Coast" of Florida and plan to go there to get a better view of the launch. (We can sort of see it where we live, but it still looks like a shiny blip.) Years before our children were born, my husband and I had it on our bucket list to see a shuttle launch up close -- so this is our last chance.

(We didn't call it a bucket list back then. I think we called it a life wish list.)

Our boys are so young now they might not remember seeing the last shuttle launch, but they can still say they were there.

Here are some other ideas for space week:

- Visit a local planetarium or science museum

- Build a cardboard rocket ship

- Dress up like astronauts for pretend play / role playing (I don't think I'll make a costume this week. An astronaut costume revolves around the helmet, and my boys usually don't like to wear things on their heads. We'll still have fun playing, though.)

- Build a solar system model (I like model #3 on the linked page, made with food, which I think preschoolers would probably get because food is something they're familiar with. Also, no mom can resist teaching their kids "My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas.") If you prefer not to make one, check out this glow-in-the-dark solar system model.

- Learn more about the planets.

- Wish upon some stars

- Read The Best Book of Spaceships, The Space Shuttle, Living On A Space Shuttle, The Complete Book of Our Solar System, First Space Encyclopedia and other books from the local library.

When we're not "spacing out," we'll go on playdates, swim in the pool and play in the park.

Hope you're having a fun summer!