Yesterday the kids and I went to the family program at YSU’s planetarium. The topic was “Skywatchers of Ancient Mexico” and it was an adaptation of the general program just for younger kids.
We love the planetarium, and I’ll admit that my kids really prefer the big “real” projector that throws the stars up onto the dome rather than the digital one that shows other images (cartoons to go with the stories, etc). But they enjoyed it nonetheless. The program started with three stories about the sun and moon, including one from China about the Sun and the Lizard, another one from ancient Mexico about the Sun, and a third one about the Moon. The instructor running the program did a fantastic job including the kids and interacting with them between each story, but by the time the third one came along they were starting to get a tiny bit antsy. But finally she raised the star projector out of its cupboard. They were very interested to see that.
We saw what the night sky looks like over our town, and then saw how the stars rise and set just like the sun and moon do. We found Pegasus, the Summer Triangle, and Auriga the Charioteer. We learned that the ancients told stories about the constellations, and were encouraged to make up our own constellations and tell stories about them as well. The kids turned Auriga into Sponge Bob and managed to find another cluster of stars that looked a bit like Patrick.