When your bedtime is before the sun sets, it can be tough to observe the ACTUAL stars. This is the hazard when studying the stars with preschoolers. In How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, a young boy tries to capture a star from the night sky, only to discover one by day in the most unlikely of places… inspiring our very own daytime scavenger hunt for stars!
How to Catch a Star
While studying the stars with the girls, our bedtime stories have been consumed by stories of the constellations, planets and night sky. How to Catch a Star by Oliver Jeffers, the illustrator of the best selling The Day the Crayons Quit, is a great story about problem solving and perseverance as a little boy stays up all night to try to catch a star. Much to his surprise, he finally finds one washed up on the shore at the beach during the day.
Daytime Stars Photo Scavenger Hunt
As many of our bedtime stories do, this led to all discussion of where we can see stars, even during the day. My 4 year old was insistent that there are no stars during the day. So, I promised the next morning, we would go on a search for stars. “How will we catch them?” she asked. “In pictures,” fulfilling her latest shutterbug obsession, a common hazard when your mom is a blogger and constantly behind the camera.
Stars in Nature
Star shapes naturally occur repeatedly throughout nature. Scientifically described as rotational or five-fold symmetry, it is attributed to natural selection and development. In lilies and other flowers, for example, it optimizes pollination. Our garden was a great place to begin our search for stars.
The girls found their first star in our squash blossoms. Once they saw a star in one flower, they started looking for all the flowers in the yard. They saw stars in the day lilies…
… in the wild blackberry bush…
… and my 4 year old was quite fascinated by the starburst quality of my dill, which had gone to flower.
The star search continued when we took a break for lunch. My 4 year old pointed out the pineapple on the counter looked like it was covered in stars.
And she was totally amazed when I revealed the star inside her pear! You can find a star inside many fruits, including apples, pears and oranges, if you cut it in half horizontally.
Stars as Symbols
My 2 year old was quick to point out the symbolic stars in the yard. The five-pointed star as a symbol dates back as far back as ancient Egypt, and is frequently associated with authority and government. They appear on the flags of 60 nations, including our own!
They also are commonly found in corporate logos and insignia… even on our water main! What other shapes do you see?
The Sun, Our Star
My favorite part of our photo scavenger hunt? Revealing to the girls that they CAN see a star during the day… the sun!
More Great Books About Stars in Nature
As you explore stars and shapes in the world around you, these are other books you and your child may enjoy.
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy our Architectural Photo Scavenger Hunt, part of our Architecture & Engineering for Preschool series. Be sure to check out the rest of our Studying the Stars series, and stay tuned for the next activity – Space Stones – coming soon!