In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin taking the first steps on the moon on July 20th, Save the Children offers small moon-themed steps parents can do to help their preschoolers take leaps in learning this summer.
“Play is essential to child development. Children learn through fun, engaging and meaningful experiences,” said Romilla Karnati, Advisor, Early Childhood Care and Development for Save the Children. “With all of the buzz around the celebration of this milestone, parents can use this as an opportunity to play with their child all around this theme of the moon.”
Education experts at Save the Children offer these easy-to-do activities for parents to help build their child’s foundational skills in early literacy and math:
- Read the classic children’s book Goodnight Moon to your child.
While reading, ask your child questions that help make the reading experience more meaningful and interactive. Point to things of interest and ask your child to name them or find the red balloon! Have fun counting the bears and kittens and identifying letters in the text. Understanding the difference between the illustrations and print in this book, and every other book, is one of the many critical skills a child gains through early literacy.
- Use putty or dough to create the different phases of the moon.
Show your child how the moon keeps changing its shape from a full moon circle to a quarter moon to a thin crescent – and back again. Children will develop their fine motor skills while squishing, squashing, flattening the dough to make the shape of the moon. This activity helps develop the small muscles in your child’s hand and fingers that are used for writing.
- Trace the shape of the moon in sand or flour.
Ask your child to use their index finger to trace the shape of the moon in the sand on the beach or flour spread on your kitchen table. Learning shapes through sensory-based activities makes learning fun and brings it to life.
“The moon is universal,” added Karnati. “Parents can use this as teaching moment to show how we are all connected by this common bond that is the moon.”
The 50th anniversary of the moon landing isn’t the only major milestone being celebrated this year. Save the Children was founded in 1919, which makes 2019 the organization’s 100th anniversary. Since its founding 100 years ago, Save the Children has changed the lives of more than 1 billion children.