Saturday, February 20, 2010
Wish Upon a Star
When was the last time you took a moment to look up at the stars? Did you make a wish? It's amazing how many things we take for granted and forget that they are even there. When my children were learning about the solar system in preschool, we made a habit of looking for the moon on the way home and labeling what phase it was in. This was easy to do since we live in New England and it is dark by 5pm during the winter months. No matter how cold it was outside, we couldn't go in the house until they made their nightly wish on a star. Three years later, my children will still point out what phase the moon is in, and still will wish on a star now and then.
During the weekends in the summer we often stay up late and wait for the stars and moon to come out. We sometimes have contests to see who is going to see the first star. We have a Discovery Kids telescope that we set up and spend as much time as we can tolerate with the bugs looking through it. We point out the constellations and I encourage my children to create their own "constellations" and name them. Sometimes they will create silly stories to go along with their new constellation.
But stars are not only found in the sky. Nature has a funny way of creating shapes and patterns that are found in more than one place. My son pointed out last summer that the moss growing under a tree in our yard looked like little stars. I wish I thought to take a picture. I will this year. Here are some photos of other "stars" that I found last year.
I only began to notice this pattern in nature late in the fall season last year, so I was not able to get wide of a variety of photos. This year it definitely will be a focus of mine. I also plan to put my children to work as we hike and explore nature together to see what shapes and patterns they can find.