Discovering the Aurora Borealis

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It is now January, and fun holiday activities have passed.  Are you looking for a new topic to catch your children’s attention?  With winter in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, a fun and interesting topic to discuss with your children is the Aurora Borealis.  The Aurora Borealis (or more commonly called, Northern Lights), were named after the Roman goddess of dawn, Aurora, and the Greek name for the north wind, Boreas, by Galileo in 1619.  This totally cool phenomenon is a natural light display in the sky that can be viewed in Arctic regions.

Aurora Borealis, stars, astronomy, science, homeschool, homeschooling

Auroras are caused by charged particles entering the atmosphere from above. Most auroras can be seen most clearly at night.  They usually consist of a greenish, or sometimes red, glow, and have a shape that is almost curtain-like.  The greatest displays usually occur a few days after solar flares. Below I’m sharing a few resources that would be helpful when discussing the Aurora Borealis with your children.  Our family is currently learning about Scandinavian countries in our Exploring Countries and Cultures/ My Father’s World curriculum so this fits in perfectly.

Kids Astronomy Aurora Article

Alaska Kid’s Corner Discussion About the Aurora Borealis

Northern Lights Science Kid’s Video

Spectacular Norway Northern Lights

What are Northern Lights? Kids Science

For younger children, here is an idea for painting the Northern Lights with a toothbrush!

Exploring Northern Lights with Kids through Art

For art activity ideas with older kids, check out this link:

Inspiration for Art and Poetry Integration

I hope that your family enjoys learning more about the Northern Lights!  A few of these resources include amazing videos and beautiful photography of the lights.  My children were personally in awe, and are now begging to take a trip to Alaska!  While a trip of this magnitude is definitely not in the works anytime in the near future, I would love to share this experience with my children in person some day!

Have you and/or your children ever seen the Aurora Borealis?

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