Anna Milbourne, Benji Davies (illus)
This is a beautifully illustrated information book with a mixture of photographs and artwork designed to introduce the moon and moon landings to young children. There is lots to talk about, some activities built in, and the simplicity of the text make it a great book for children beginning to read independently.
Read the first page and spend time thinking about the Moon and what it might be like to go there. Read the rest of the book aloud talking about the illustrations as you do so. You can use your voice to emphasise the excitement of the blast off and the silence of the moon.
When you share the book again encourage your child to join in. The countdown to blast off would be good fun with very young children either lifting them up so they feel they are blasting off or encouraging them to jump as high as they can. Point to the words as you re read the book, children beginning to read for themselves will start to recognise key words such as ‘Moon’.
Talk about the book
Talk about the puzzle pages together and ask the questions in the book eg ‘Do you think you will ever go to the moon?’ or others such as ‘Would you like to go to the moon?’
Things to make and do
Play the story
Use a cardboard box and make it into the astronauts’ cabin like the one in the book. Teddies can be dressed up as astronauts with a washing up liquid bottle oxygen pack and perhaps a paper bag with a circle cut out serving as a helmet.
Pretend to be an astronaut walking on the moon and collecting moon rocks. An all in one waterproof or sleep suit could serve as an improvised spacesuit, with boots and a kitchen colander helmet or one made from a cardboard box with a cut out visor. Find a large space for your child to enjoy making big bouncy steps as if they are on the moon. If you have access to sand ( mud or even snow!) it would be fun to make footprints. Children could have a special bag to collect ‘moon rocks’ and erect a paper flag.
Sing a song
Sing a rhyme about going to the moon
Zoom, zoom, zoom, we’re going to the moon! Click here for the words.
Make a picture
Make a moon and space background together on a large sheet of paper with small pieces of paper torn from magazines, dark for sky and light for the moon and stars. Alternatively you could paint a moon and space background. Then your child could draw and colour astronauts and a lunar module on a separate piece of paper and cut it out and stick it on to their background.
Find out more
Find out more about space and the Apollo 11 moon landing
Look at the images of the Apollo 11 mission, the moon and the earth from space and talk about them.
Older children and real Space enthusiasts might be interested in this website which combines archive film footage, audio recordings and simulation to re construct in about half an hour the stages of the Apollo 11 mission