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Your family doesn’t need to run the Hubble Space Telescope in order for your children to enjoy the mystery and wonder of outer space. Space is a great subject for kids because it’s something they’re naturally interested in. It can help build a love of learning in science, engineering, technology, mathematics and so much more.

Below are a few ways to keep your future astrophysicist engrossed in his or her intergalactic fascination.

Visit a planetarium… Nearly every major city has a planetarium or museum dedicated to outer space or space exploration. Aside from exhibits and shows, your local planetarium likely hosts workshops, classes, and camps to further engage your little one’s inquisitiveness. Sign up your child to receive offerings and event schedules to stay on top of the museum’s goings on.

Or make your own mini-planetarium! Anything that lights up in the dark and projects on a wall will hold on to a kid’s imagination and won’t let go. Transform your child’s bedroom into a mini-planetarium, bringing the heavens down to earth.

Get familiar with Scott Kelly. Astronaut Scott Kelly may be back from his year in space, but he continues to post totally epic photos of his travels on social media. Through your own profiles, follow American treasure Kelly on Instagram and Twitter to start a dialogue between you and your child on space exploration

Look up at space…. together If the super moon is out, put on your kids’ coats over their jammies, get out, and look up. When the sunrise is making colors like you’ve never seen, insist your kids check it out. If there’s going to be a meteor shower, set a date to watch its wonder. History shows that if you get excited about something, so will your children.

Encourage dress up. It always helps to look the part! Encourage dress up and make-believe play when it comes to pretend time about outer space.

Float over to NASA’s Kids’ Club. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration has an interactive Kids’ Club site which includes activities to discover your age and weight on other planets, learn who is currently manning the International Space Station, and test your skills on a Mars Rover

Did You Know?

You do not have to be superman or superwoman to fly in space. Many men and women, from many different countries, have become astronauts. ESA, for example, now has 14 astronauts from eight different countries. If you want to be one of the few people to experience the thrill of liftoff, see the Earth from on high and float in a spacecraft, then how do you go about it?

Would you like to become an astronaut?

First: you must really want to become an astronaut as it takes many years of study and work before you even begin your training. Most astronauts begin when they are between 27 and 37.

Second: you need to be clever enough to attend a university to study engineering, medicine or one of the sciences. Many astronauts also learn to be pilots in their country’s airforce.

Third: astronauts come from many different countries in Europe, and may share missions with astronauts from the USA, Russia and Japan. They need to speak English and Russian so that they can all talk to one another.

Fourth: you must be healthy, Since astronaut training and spaceflights can be very tiring.

Lastly: on a spacecraft, astronauts live and work in a very small space so you need to be good at getting on with people.

Are you still interested?

If so maybe you will become one of the men and women who orbits the Earth in a spacecraft, walks in space or visits the Moon.

See You In Space!

By: Tacy Flannery ( kids-outer-space/)