In the past, we’ve talked about lots of things to give your little astronaut so they dream about the heavenly spheres– like this floating friend or this. But now maybe your kid is older and they have the mysteries of the universe whirling around inside their heads. The easiest way to encourage their love of all things orbital is to surround them with space– by creating an awesome, educational space bedroom.
First off, you’ll need some kind of portable planisphere for planning your stargazing adventures.
Planispheres are star maps. Some of them are really beautifully decorated with the shapes of the constellations, like the one above. Some are more functional. But you don’t have to get crazy or be some sort of Michaelangelo. There are a ton on Etsy that would make great and educational decor. Or you can download an app. I have a stellerscope, which is an awesome little telescope where you can dial in the date and location and see an exact replica of the stars above, complete with names.
It’s handy for living in the city where you don’t get to see stars too often. Here’s a electronic telescope that will look at the actual sky and help your kids identify what they’re seeing.
But even cooler would be helping your future astronaut make one of their own.
When I was a pint-sized nerd, I was so obsessed with constellations that I took those plastic glowy stars that you could always get as prizes from the arcade and mapped out my night sky on the ceiling over my head. They’re still there and still glowing.
Well, guess what? Big Kid Nerd Sam is going to do the same thing to her future house with the Fiber Optics Star Ceiling, like the one we mentioned in our Space-Nursery article, because it’s the future and everything should be fiber optics. Here’s a sweet instructable on how to do it yourself.
Of course, an awesome alternative to those who don’t want to mess around with fiber optics is this planetarium projector from the Smithsonian Institute. It comes with a whole host of awesome space images to help your little astronaut dream of the stars.
While dreaming, they can rest their heavenly heads on nebulae. Until the day when glow-in-the-dark bedding is both inexpensive and not potentially harmful, these will have to do.
Etsy store GeographyHandmade has lots of cool stuff, including this amazing pillow made to look like the Monocerotis Nebula.
Or, if you want to go all out, Tbedding has some pretty cool bedspread and pillow case combos.
And last but certainly not least, no future astronaut’s room is complete without a telescope. The Orion series for kids is great not only because they are the perfect size for a beginner, but this one comes with its own planisphere, moon map, and even a book on beginning astronomy, written specifically to get kids excited about space. Orion’s travel telescope is a bit smaller, but made to be portable. They’re a great way to take a vacation to the stars while on a vacation out of state.