Little kids are fascinated by the big, glowing moon in the night sky. Here are some activities to encourage their interest and imaginations. This is an excerpt from an article written by Diane Flynn Keith.
Remember, only do these learning activities if they are enjoyable for you and your child. Do not treat this as a “must do” lesson. It’s simply a fun activity that provides an opportunity to learn, while building “readiness skills” for school or homeschool success.
Now, just because you give your child real information about the moon doesn’t mean they won’t appreciate whimsical stories about the moon. Here are six great story and picture books with moon themes (read one each night) that will fire up their imaginations (available at your library or through Amazon.com):
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
This is the classic bedtime story where a child says goodnight to all of the familiar things at home, and says goodnight to the moon as well. I think every family that ever read this story has probably acted out its pages. I know this story inspired my husband and I to take our sons in arms and walk through the house saying goodnight to every stuffed animal, piece of furniture, plant, and of course, we always had to stop at the window and say goodnight to the moon.
- Grandfather Twilight By Barbara Berger
I think this is one of the very best night-time stories to read with young children. It tells the story of Grandfather Twilight who takes a pearl from his treasure chest each night, and then walks through the woods to perform his magical task of installing the moonlight. The illustrations are awash in moon glow.
- Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch
This beloved tale is about a little bear who thinks the moon is a creature he can talk to. He decides to celebrate Moon’s birthday by presenting him with a birthday hat. The story is simple and magical from start to finish.
- Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me by Eric Carle
You probably know Eric Carle from his books, The Very Hungry Caterpillar”, “The Very Quiet Cricket”, “The Very Busy Spider”, etc. In this book he uses the same wonderful elements of fold-out pages, holes, pop-ups, textures, extensions, etc., to tell the story of a little girl who asks her farther for the moon. It includes a very long ladder that reaches to the moon and back and a 4-page centerfold of the full moon that is certain to thrill your preschooler.
- The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
In this story targeted for ages 4-8, primary readers will explore answers to their questions about our planet’s closest natural companion; its origins and phases, what causes tides and eclipses, the people and spacecraft that have been sent there, and even some of the stories and beliefs it has inspired. The author includes directions for making a simple solar eclipse viewer and finishes with a chronology, a sampling of moon legends and lore, and a page of additional facts.
- Kitten’s First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
This story is the winner of the 2005 Caldecott Medal and a New York Times best seller. I haven’t seen it yet, but here’s a short description from the publisher: “It’s a special night for Kitten. Looking out from the porch, she sees it: a bowl of delicious milk in the sky. Actually, it’s the first full moon she’s seen, but she’s determined to lap it up.”
- What Makes Day and Night by Franklyn M. Branley
(Ages 2-4) If your child has an interest in science, they will enjoy this book. It combines colorful drawings with actual photographs to explain the earth’s rotation in a simple, understandable way. This book provides a good first introduction to the subject, which is neither too technical, nor so diluted as to be called bland.
Copyright 2010, Diane Flynn Keith, All Rights Reserved. Publication or distribution in any medium including blogs, newsletters, ezines, websites, or online discussion lists is strictly prohibited without prior written permission. Thank you for helping to protect my copyright.