Who didn’t love staying up late as a kid to see the stars on summer nights? Tonight, Travis got to do just that, and to learn a little about constellations, too!
As night was falling, we fit in a refresher course on constellations, talking about what they are and then projecting a familiar one (The Big Dipper) against the wall. For this, simply poke holes in the constellation’s pattern in the bottom of an empty oatmeal container with a pen or pencil. Shine a flashlight into the container, and your stars appear!
Now it was almost dark enough, but still not quite. I challenged Travis to make up his own constellation, to name it, and then to make up a story about it. The idea was to highlight the long tradition of oral folklore that accompanies the patterns in the stars, among so many cultures.
After my example of a cat constellation, he drew a dot-to-dot boy and we wove a tale of how the boy had ended up in the stars. Next he drew a smile! I loved this childlike but beautiful idea of what images we can see among the stars.
Now it was time to spot the real thing. We headed out to the back patio and waited for final dark to fall. And then it was right to bed!