I’ve been a little quiet over the last few weeks. Certain circumstances have meant that both my husband and I have been able to take extended time off with our 3 kids this summer, so we have been quite busy…. relaxing!

Our friends recently introduced us to a fantastic activity I just had to share with you. Stargazing with iPhones! I have always been fascinated by the night sky, but have sadly never been able to identify constellations beyond the Big Dipper.

A-ha! I am a stargazing ignoramus no more! Introducing SkyView – Explore the Universe, an iPhone app that can help teach kids about constellations.

stargazing with SkyView

Waiting for the sunset

I downloaded the free version. The full version has the benefit of including satellites and moons, too.

Here’s a pic of kids spread out on the beach, waiting for night to fall. As soon as the first stars began to appear, and to the sound of my daughter reciting ‘Star Light, Star Bright’, the kids started pointing their devices at the sky and excitedly began to call out the names of the different constellations as they identified them. Amazing!

Just aim and tap the screen to identify hundreds of stars, with the names of the different constellations and their meanings right at your fingertips. Graphics are enhanced with Augmented Reality.

A friend of mine uses StarWalk and Planets, both of which seem to do pretty much the same things. She says that she has rule that the kids each must identify 1 new constellation every time they go to their country place. At the risk of being called a copycat, I think I might adopt this great rule, too!

‘Reading the sky’ is a great literacy activity the whole family can enjoy. And the kids are definitely not the only ones learning a thing or two!!

Have you found a great tool to help your kids learn about constellations? I’d love to hear from you!