The Allure Of Space-Themed Games And Astronaut Pretend Play

Written by: Gina Taranto

As children, we enjoy engaging in pretend play because it allows us to explore surreal worlds and realms while putting our wildest ideas and creative thoughts to work. This helps us build important development skills starting from a young age while experimenting with a variety of social interaction scenarios and emotions, learning how to share responsibility, solve problems and take turns.

All of these skills will prove to be extremely handy later on in life, in our adult years, when we will use our imagination for problem-solving purposes, making plans, inventing new things, and succeeding in our goals, whether they're related to becoming an astronaut or something else.

Space Pretend Play Could Help Your Children Find Their Passion From a Young Age

Without a doubt, many pretend play sessions have helped a lot of us discover our future professions. Have you ever asked yourself how many of today's doctors used to pretend to check their dolls' temperatures using their doctor playsets? Or how many astronauts and space engineers got lost in endless hours of astronaut pretend play in their backyard, watching the moon and the stars through their invented telescopes, or fixing broken robots?

The truth is lots of children are blown away by space exploration activities and the mere thought of imagining themselves in outer space. Maybe it happens after a fascinating visit to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, while spending the day exploring what it would be like to be an astronaut, or it's a result of your kids watching space-themed cartoons on TV.

Whatever might be driving them closer to space-themed games, it is incredibly important to allow them to freely express their desires, creativity, and imagination as it will help them discover their passions and interests starting from a very young age. While your kids may or may not end up working for NASA or joining the Space Foundation in a few years is besides the point. Let them dream with their eyes wide open and see what happens.

If your children seem to be particularly interested in space-themed pretend play and games, here are a few cool activities that you might want to try at home.

Do A Space-Themed Jigsaw Puzzle

There are tons of space-themed puzzles to choose from, and one that focuses on the solar system will help your little ones get initiated into the study of the stars. Help them assemble the puzzle and make sure to use age-appropriate jigsaw puzzle games if you have children of different ages. Jigsaw puzzles are a great way of building and reinforcing brain cell connections, improving children's ability to think fast as well as their short-term memory and visual and spatial reasoning.

All of these benefits can also be harnessed by adults with a passion for puzzles, so join your kids and do your own adult space-themed puzzle in parallel to set an example and encourage them to keep going. Online and offline puzzles are excellent stress relievers, almost as good as space-themed slots featuring excellent graphics and storylines that can keep your mind off the daily stresses for hours in a row.

Dress Up Like Astronautsspace games

Suit your kids up and get them ready to explore outer space like a real astronaut! Who knows just what sparkle an astronaut costume might ignite inside your children's hearts? Since they are already expressing vivid and genuine interest in all things space-related, why not make them a cool silvery astronaut costume using tinfoil and old clothes, or buy an astronaut costume from a Halloween store?

If your pretend play involves rocket take-offs, encourage your kids to get their photos taken before every flight. Cover a wall with space fabric to create the right background and have them hold their helmets just like real astronauts. 

Don't forget about the pre-launch countdown; use counting blocks on strings to make special countdown necklaces to practice some basic math skills as well. If your kids are in preschool, you could also take advantage of this opportunity to encourage them to color their own rocket ship in their art book.

Build Space Maps Using Themed Place Mats

Explore the solar system using themed place mats as maps for outer space and start navigating through all the planets and stars. Remember to fuel up using some delicious frozen fruit, one of the favorite foods of astronauts, and do some stretching and light exercises to limber up – it's what astronauts do on their space ships and the kids are going to love it.

Finally, use any of these activities and others to keep encouraging your kids' pretend play, no matter what topic or theme they might revolve around. Watch them keep growing their curiosity and improving their creative learning skills by the day. Space is an extremely thought-provoking field and the more children become interested in starting at an early age, the brighter our future will look.