If your kid is super fascinated by space and the mysteries surrounding the solar system, you might find trying to educate them from home a bit of a struggle. Fortunately, scientists at NASA have your back. In fact, NASA is now offering free educational activities and learning resources for kids of all ages. There's video games, coloring books, podcasts, e-books, as well as virtual tours. Who knows, you might even learn a little something along with your aspiring astronaut.
As millions of kids across the country are learning from home for the foreseeable future, trying to keep them engaged and interested in their education can be something of a minefield. But creative resources, like the ones offered by NASA and the International Space Station National Lab, can certainly help families during this difficult time. And late last month, NASA launched "NASA At Home," which is full of activities and materials so you can "bring the universe into your home."
"We know people everywhere, especially students, are looking for ways to get out of the house without leaving their house," Bettina Inclán, associate administrator for NASA’s Office of Communications, said in a press release. "NASA has a way for them to look to the skies and see themselves in space with their feet planted safely on the ground, but their imaginations are free to explore everywhere we go. We’ve put that information at their fingertips. We hope everyone takes a few moments to explore NASA at Home."
NASA's website has tailored activities for kids to try out by grade: kindergarten to grade four; grade five to grade eight; or grade nine to grade 12. The youngest of these kids can even just start out by downloading a coloring book full of NASA's Exoplanet's posters for fun.
Some of the other activities, all of which are offered free of charge, include:
- Making a moon phase calendar and calculator to prepare for the next big super moon in May.
- Build your own rocket (out of foam, don't worry).
- Make your own alien head and other cool crafts with the website DreamUp, an organization that has partnered with NASA to provide low-cost space education.
- Pick a plant to thrive on the space station with the ExoLab Biological Design Challenge, which is partnered with the International Space Station National Laboratory.
- Take a 10-hour course on how you can actually become an astronaut, although this is a program offered on the Space Station Explorers website for elementary and middle school children and includes instruction on how to walk in space, how to build your own space station, and engineering rockets.
NASA at Home also features astronaut Christina Koch reading children's books every weekday on Instagram Live at 4 p.m. ET. Earlier this month, for instance, she read Midnight At The Moon.
All of these programs and resources are designed to get kids excited about STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects for their future. And if they have a little fun as they're learning from home, that's pretty much the perfect way to while away the hours... solving the mystery of the stars and beyond.