Most kids enjoy watching the stars at night especially with other kids or with their parents. A starry night star party is a great way to get kids interested in astronomy. It’s a fun event where they can learn more about the stars and other heavenly bodies found in space. Starry night star parties are normally held in the backyard or on the camping grounds. By staging a starry night star party, kids and parents can get involved in an interactive and enjoyable learning occasion.
Here’s what you need to do in order to have a starry night star party.
- Pick a date. Setting the date is important because it will determine what constellations the kids will see in the sky during that time. You have to know what is visible during the night of the party. Orion can be seen during winter while the Big Dipper is clear at summertime. Do your research through books and online.
- Plan astronomy themed games. Think of games that will revolve around stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies. You can have trivia games, ring toss games using “moon rocks” and word games using astronomy terms.
- Make and send invitations. You can buy pre-made invitations that have a space theme. Or you can make invitations using your printer, computer and any software that can create invitations. Send the invitations at least two weeks in advance.
- Gather all your party supplies. Buy or make party decorations that go with your starry night theme. Find plates, glasses, table napkins and tablecloths that have stars on them. Buy enough food and drinks for the whole night. Cupcakes with stars or planet shapes on them would be a hit. Make sure you have enough flashlights, binoculars, constellation charts and sleeping bags for everyone. Don’t forget to gather your materials and prizes for the games as well.
- Set up for the party. Decorate the area with stars, planets, balloons and other decorations. Arrange the sleeping bags and pitch the tents. On each sleeping bag there should be a pair of binoculars, one flashlight, and one constellation chart. Set up the food table and make sure there is an area where used paper plates, spoons and forks, glasses, etc can be placed.
- Explain the items on the sleeping bags. Start the party by telling the kids what items they have. Explain how to use each one. Make sure the kids know that to get the best view out of their binoculars, they have to tilt their heads to about 60 degrees.
- Talk about the stars. Give them a background of the different constellations. The Big Dipper is one of the easiest constellations to see. Tell the kids to find the constellations they can see on the chart. Apart from the ones on the chart, ask what other shapes they can find.
- Play other astronomy themed games. Conduct the games with the help of the other parents. Give out prizes to the winning kids and small tokens for those who don’t win.
Note: The best time to view the stars is from 9:30 to 10:00 in the evening.
Star gazing and identifying constellations is a fun activity for kids.
Having a starry night star party is both an enjoyable and an educational
event that kids would not want to miss. Elicit the help of other
parents in planning and giving the party. After all, astronomy can be
fun for both the kids and the adults alike.