Today is National Look Up at the Sky Day! What does that mean? Well, it’s a day to take a moment to stop and look up. Instead of moving forward with the rush of our lives, we can take time to notice the sky, no matter what time of day it is, and appreciate everything about that moment. There has been a heightened emphasis on awareness in the last few years. So today, let’s take a moment to look up at the sky.
The history of National Look Up at the Sky Day isn’t very clear. But it could be because of a news reporter in Boston named Jack Borden. After he took the time to look up at the sky for the first time, he quit his job and founded For Spacious Skies. The non-profit organization’s mission is to teach both adults and children to notice nature’s beauty instead of rushing through life.
Mental health professionals agree that looking up at the sky has benefits for us. It can reduce our stress levels through its peacefulness or by helping us to see our emotions in perspective. The vastness of the sky helps us to see ourselves and our emotions within a much larger context. Often, this perspective is just what we need to be able to let go of some stress.
Looking at the Sky with our Kids
Beyond all the history and science, looking at the sky is just plain fun. Kids love identifying shapes and figures in the clouds. Looking at the stars is really fun too. And there are all kinds of ways to learn about the sky.
Learn about Clouds
Children are like little sponges, especially when it comes to nature. And clouds are no exception. Head to the library, and look for books about clouds. When you’re out and about, see if you can work together to identify the different types of clouds. The big fluffy ones are cumulus clouds, and the feathery wisps way up high are cirrus clouds. Gray storm clouds are nimbus clouds, and the wide blankety clouds are stratus clouds. These are the four basic types that are easy for preschoolers to identify, although it does get far more complicated than this.
Sky-gazing at Night
Head outdoors at night and see what you can see. It’s fun to look at the moon for a while, to notice its visible craters and to see if you can make out the dim part of the moon. And of course the stars are always beautiful. Do take some time to let your eyes adjust to the darkness, and then you’ll be able to see more in the sky. If you live where there is a lot of light pollution, you could plan an outing to head to a dark sky area and see the stars. It’s pretty amazing!
Constellations are a lot of fun too! There are apps that help you identify constellations in the sky right above you. Or you could use a traditional constellation chart. Either way, see if you can find some of the fun designs in the sky.
While you’re learning about stars, you could specifically learn about the Aurora Borealis. The northern lights are remarkable and the children’s section of your library should have great picture books to help you in your study.
Signing Time signs
National Look Up at the Sky Day is also a great time to learn some signs about the sky. We can start with the sign for sky.
In the Signing Time Dictionary, there are also signs for stars, clouds, and sun. So even your littlest ones can learn these words and how to use them with signs. Signing helps our children’s current vocabulary and future reading skills.
Your kids can learn even more about signing with our programs on My Signing Time. There are several shows that are free to watch, and if you think My Signing Time is a good fit for your family, you can try out a digital subscription with a 14-day free trial right here.