Anna was very interested in solar system lately, and also in aliens. I had to disappoint her a bit by telling her that humans haven’t had a contact with another civilization just yet. This led to all kinds of “why” questions and to my feeble attempts to explain that Universe is a really big place. We talked how humans only visited the Moon so far, and even that was very difficult journey. So this lead to Anna’s next question, How long did it take to fly to the Moon and how long will it take to fly to the Sun? I didn’t know the answer right away, but again Let’s Read and Find Out book came to the rescue. This time it was The Sun, Our Nearest Star. The reviewer on Amazon gave it one star for simplicity, but it made the book very attractive to my 4 year old – she read it every night before falling asleep. The book contained a page that showed a distance (not scaled, of course) between the Earth, the Moon and the Sun. The same page answered her question – it will take 3 days to the moon and more than 3 years to reach the Sun.
I was trying to show Anna the difference in distance in a way that she could begin to understand. So we went outside, and I drew the Earth with a chalk right next to our porch. Then she made one step, and I drew the Moon there. Then I explained to her that we will need to make about 400 steps (387 to be exact) to “get to the Sun”. We walked about the length of our street before we “reached” the Sun, and it also gave Anna a chance to see that numbers that are more than 100 are “good for something”. Then we just kept on going and enjoyed some fun in late afternoon sun of early November (it was replaced by pouring rain by Sunday).
I am linking this to Science Sunday at Adventures in Mommydom and to Math Links at Joyful Learner.