Do you like to look at how the stars twinkle with your child? Even if you don’t, remember that children are always curious and at some point, your child will want to know more about the stars. You may know the constellations or the shapes of the stars but did you know that stories behind them? You can share that knowledge in a fun way; use this as quality time with your child and as teaching moments that your child takes away for life.
Just remember, historically, constellation stories stem from Greek mythology. Read on for Candy Cane Club’s own quick & easy compendium of starry stories.
Ursa Minor or The Little Bear
This is one of the most popular shapes in the stars. According to ancient Greek mythology, there was a big fight in the family between Arcas and his own mother. So the King of all Gods, Zeus, transformed both the mother and the son into a bear and placed them in the sky – bonded together forever. Ursa Minor is best seen in June at 9 pm.
Draco the Dragon
This shape in the stars is Ladon, the 100-headed dragon. The dragon was supposed to be on duty, watching an apple tree. One day when Hercules was playing music, the dragon fell asleep and the apples got stolen. This made the Queen of the Gods, Hera, upset and so, she threw him up into the stars and he sits there even today. Draco the Dragon is best seen in July at 9 pm.
Everybody at some point understands who and what the character of Hercules is. After all, he is one of the best Disney characters of all time, right? At least it used to be so until Elsa took over! Hercules, or rather his shape in the stars was found again in the modern times. He is big & powerful, just like Hercules. It is best visible in July at 9 pm.
There was once a Greek queen named Cassiopeia who was very proud of her daughter’s beauty. She would often brag about it saying her beauty surpassed even the most beautiful sea nymphs or the Gods. That’s why the queen and her daughter Andromeda and her husband Cepheus were thrown into the stars. Cassiopeia is best seen in November around 9 pm.
The King of Gods, Zeus gave away Orion when he was a baby. He grew up to be a great hunter. Later when he got older, he fell deeply in love with a moon goddess known as Artemis. The goddess’s brother did not approve of this and sent Scorpius to fight a war against him. This was the reason Orion was sent to the stars. It is believed the Egyptians built the mighty Pyramids based on the shape of Orion’s belt. This shape is best seen in January around 9 pm.
Ways to encourage curiosity in your child
You don’t have to wait for the month, clear visibility or invest in an expensive telescope to see the shapes of the stars. Go to the library or go online and look up pictures together. You can also develop curiosity in your child by helping him or her make constellation cards that mimic the shapes, poke holes, colour or trace! This activity will engage them, make learning fun and the retention more effective. That, or indulge in the many planned activities brought to with by the Candy Cane Club Membership to learn and laugh with your child. You will be amazed at how much your child understands and how fast he learns through discovery. A star will be born!