In our house, we love space. We love everything about space. We love watching documentaries of different missions to planets and belts in our galaxy, we love special episodes of animated shows about space, we love songs on YouTube about space, we love watching NASA launches. Depending on a child’s age and depth of interest, I’m going to categorize these resources under how the media is consumed. Enjoy!
Just a note: There are links for all the resources on this page, the ones that refer to Amazon are affiliate links. While you won’t pay any extra, a portion of your purchase will come back to this site to help me continue to create content like this. Thank you as always for your support.
Things to Watch
This is a fantastic episode for a primer of the Planets in the solar system. It also has a song dedicated to what makes Earth special compared to the other planets. The songs are catchy and easy to memorize for kids. If you have a child who loves echolalia, this may be one they really enjoy. The second half of the episode is about the human body which is also excellent, but we usually end up with the first half of this episode on repeat.
The Crash Course Kids have an entire channel devoted to Astronomy videos on their website. Their videos are all available on YouTube for easy watching, but I like the way their website is organized for easy watching. They have simple graphics, are factual, easy to understand, and quick paced enough to keep a preschooler’s attention. We are a huge fan of their content, and if you haven’t discovered them yet, they have content spanning numerous topics!
Socratica Kids is much like Crash Course Kids in that they have a variety of science-related content, but they have dedicated content to Astronomy. They don’t have a direct website, but I have linked to their facebook page which they are pretty active on. They also have a YouTube channel which is very easy to access and organized in playlist. This video is less informative as a lesson, and set up as a topic review video instead. It’s lead by some puppets and is cute, informative, and lacking fluff while still being engaging.
One thing we were really surprised by in our three year old, is her need for deeper content. Even if she can’t understand it, it’s so important that we expose her mind to deeper sciences and what’s beyond the realm of our every day. NASA hosts so many videos on their government website talking to scientists, astronauts, footage from space, footage of launches, and explaining how their rockets work. Most all of the videos are short in length and the footage is so beautiful.
While you’re on the NASA site, make sure to click on NASA TV to find live footage from the International Space Station of Earth. It’s really fun to watch the earth rotate and it’s great for discussing land, light, water, and cloud cover.
Things to Read
This book is such a gem. I found it at a children’s fair in an Usborne book booth. I’m usually not a fan of their books (mostly due to price and the party set up), but when it comes to Astronomy books for kids, they do everything right. This one lets kids peek inside space stations, an astronaut’s suit, and so much more. It’s so entertaining, and we especially love this one in the car.
Another great book by Usborne. As a parent, I really appreciate this book because it answers so many questions that children may have about space that I don’t know how to answer. Again, it’s a flap style book with simple but beautiful illustrations. Some of the questions, like “What are stars?” and “Is there anyone in space right now?” are great thought provoking questions that contain answers in this book. While this isn’t a daily go-to, it’s a fun book to read with your kids, and as they get older it would still be appropriate.
Moving away from question and answer type books, Mae Among the Stars is a beautifully presented story about Mae Jemison and her path to becoming the first African-American woman in space. I love the moral that kids need to follow their passions and dreams, even if those dreams seem too big for those around them.
Curiosity is a little rover that’s been on Mars for over 6 years, this book is written from the perspective of this car-sized robot as it explores Mars for us and sends us information to study. It’s a cute book and considering that this rover is the older sibling of our newest rover we’ve sent to Mars, it sets the groundwork for children to understand how we gather data to study.
‘Here We Are’ is a well written story as a letter to an Earth inhabitant that explains many basic natural science topics. The beautiful illustrations accompanied by witty storytelling makes this an enjoyable and easy read. The pictures are also labeled which can be great for solidifying concepts or reviewing sub-topics.
While the reading opportunities are endless, this list is a fantastic start for your young learner. Please share in the comments below any of your favorite resources as I’d love to check them out and I’m sure other readers would love to as well!