Stargazing with Kids

As a child, I absolutely loved staring up at the night sky, and to this day it still fascinates me. I'm looking forward to sharing this passion with my children



My dad was really keen on astronomy and on clear nights, we would stand in the back garden and take turns looking through an old, and very heavy, pair of binoculars. He would show me how to focus on objects in the sky and I will never forget the first moment I focused on the moon's bumpy silver surface. Instead of seeing dark shapes on a light background, I could see ripples and craters. It was breath taking.

From then on, stargazing became a regular occurrence. Soon I could recognise a few of the constellations, and I'd let my mind run wild with the endless possibilities the night sky presented:

  • Were there aliens out there?
  • How many other planets existed and what were they like?
  • Were we being 'observed'?

Looking up at the other 'suns'

I couldn't believe it when I first found out that the vast majority of stars I was looking at were in fact suns, just like ours, and many of those suns might have a planetary system just like ours.

There were galaxies, clusters and super clusters, all containing trillions of stars. Mind boggling.

Sharing interests with your children

Quite a few years have passed since I even looked through a pair of binoculars, so top of my birthday list this year is a telescope.

Binoculars are all well and good but something I've craved since I was that small child standing in the garden with a crick in my neck is to see Jupiter for myself, not just in a glossy book.

I'm well aware it won't be a perfect, Hubble style image but just to see it with my own eyes would be such a thrill; and to experience that for the first time with my kids would be the icing on the cake.

Choosing educational activities for kids

Anyone who knows me will verify that I'm definitely not a pushy parent but I do give my kids quite a hefty nudge when I think there is something educational they can do that will genuinely both please and inspire them.

I'm certainly not expecting the next Stephen Hawking or Richard Feynman to emerge, but hopefully, a bit of stargazing will spur them on to think outside the confines of this little world we inhabit.

It seems to have worked so far. They both really enjoy learning about space and astronomy, so when the telescope eventually makes an appearance, I don't think they'll mind their mad mother dragging them out on a bitterly cold, clear winter's night.

Stargazing in winter can be exceedingly cold. Best add thermal underwear to that birthday list!

Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor

Share this:
quotation mark
We were very impressed with Tinies' extremely fast turnaround time. You rarely see that level of effort and service from companies these days.
Chantal, Cheshire