On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first human to set foot on the surface of the moon saying “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Or was it, “one small step for a man..”? Regardless of whether or not Armstrong has been misquoted, this month we celebrate 50 years since that monumental day.
I was lucky enough to visit the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. last month where they housed a special exhibit dedicated to lunar exploration. If you get a chance, check out Neil Armstrong’s spacesuit, which is going back on display for the first time in 13 years beginning July 16.
And if traveling to D.C. this summer is out of the question, there are other ways to learn about Apollo 11 and space exploration. My young kids (ages 3 and 5) really enjoyed painting moons using scrunched up foil as stamps and black, white, gray and purple paint (sparkles would be a nice touch, but we didn’t have any.) We also played astronaut Barbies by making space suits out of aluminum foil and a space shuttle out of a shoebox wrapped in foil (of course).
If your child’s strength is in writing and creativity, have them write a diary entry of an astronaut about to leave for the moon. What will it be like? What are their fears? What are they leaving behind?
For children, landing on the moon is more than a feat of science and engineering, it is the realization of a dream. If something so unimaginable as landing on the moon can happen, what’s stopping them from realizing their own dreams?
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