December is a month of short days and long nights—the perfect time to explore stars with your little one. Read on for tips for super-starry chats, stories, and activities.
- For your baby: Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with your baby. Think about adding hand gestures to go along with the song. Bundle up your twelve-month-old one evening and show them the stars. Point them out, repeating the word star. Listen for them to try repeating it—it might sound like tar, sa or sar.
- For your toddler: Sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and model hand gestures to go with the song (flick your fingers for twinkling stars, wave your hands over your head for up above the world so high, etc.). Take your child outside before bedtime and look up into the night-time sky. Can they find any stars? What color are the stars? Are they bright? Are they twinkling? What else does your see in the night sky—a moon, a bird, a plane?
- For your baby: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by Annie Kubler or Caroline Jayne Church or Little Bear’s Special Wish by Gillian Lobel.
- For your toddler: Toddlers from 18 to 36 months will enjoy Hush Little Baby and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, both by Sylvia Long. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers is also a great choice.
- For your baby: Play “superstar” with your baby. Using a few star-shaped cookie cutters or star shapes cut from cardboard, let your baby touch these and play with them. Take out a metal bowl or plastic bin and show your baby how to drop a star into the bowl. See if baby wants a turn. Model how to hold a star in each hand and bang them together. See if baby wants to try.
- For your toddler: Cut about 12 large stars out of 3 different colors of paper (like 4 red stars, 4 blue stars, 4 yellow stars). Mix them up and play a sorting game with your toddler to sort the stars by color. Then mix them up again and tape them in a random pattern to the floor or lay them on the sidewalk/grass outside. Ask your child to “fly across the sky” by stepping on only the blue stars. Try again stepping on only the red or yellow stars. (Children from 18-24 months will probably need some help with this game.)