I have always lived in a city. That being so, the bright lights of a city tend to make it incredibly hard to spot stars. Often, you just don't notice them.
But I have always liked the idea of stargazing and so I decided that it would be fun to study Constellations with my son during his long school holidays.
So I began by sourcing for books. I found
by H. A. Rey (author of Curious George) very simple to understand and engaging. Glow in the Dark Constellations was also a good read and introduced a number of constellations too. But if you are only going to get one book, get Find the Constellations. The plan was to read a few pages of the book each day and we would recreate his own book of constellations.
Each day, my son would trace the stars with a marker on to tracing paper and then I would help him punch out the holes using the
. Then we stuck gold paper behind it. He also joined the stars together to form the constellation (drawn on tracing paper) and we stuck that behind the first page with the holes. We had a lot of fun doing this together and soon he could recognise quite a number of constellations.
second day, we also made torchlight constellation filters and my younger son got to play along too. (We reused the torchlights that were given to us at the National Day Parade!)
Finally, we ended the week with a trip to the
which is open every friday night. As it is the school holidays at the moment, there are secondary students manning booths with star-themed games and we decided to play with one of their games. It involved using pegs and tubes and buckets to create a track for a marble to roll on. There was also a light craft and a photo magic booth.
It was drizzling when we arrived and so we decided to watch the planterium show where we crawled into a dark tentage and a projector simulated the night sky and the universe for us. We lay down and visited different planets just from where we were.
Before we left, we did manage to take a peek through the
and saw the moon through the clouds. We didn't get to spot any constellations but the kids were excited to get the chance to look through the gigantic telescope. Apparently there are just three in Singapore. One owned by a university and another by a private owner, I wonder who? I also decided to treat the kids to some astronaut ice cream which really tasted just like candy. They enjoyed it the same.
My kids normally are in bed before 8pm and so when I told them that we were going on an outing to the observatory, they were over the moon. We reached home at 1030pm and both were really tired but extremely happy. In fact, my older son actually exclaimed on the way home in the car that it was the most fun that he had ever had in his life.
It was a tiring week but that really made it all worthwhile.