We are living in the Golden Age of space exploration. It should be said that there are also many distressing and tragic situations happening in our world today. But children don’t need to know about these things. In fact, they should not be exposed to these things.
Fortunately, on the other hand, there are awesome achievements happening in space exploration today. These can serve as the fuel to ignite hope, learning, and positive ambition in children. Humanity can – and will – rise to new heights – both literally and figuratively – thanks to these efforts.
If you know any children who are excited about efforts to bring humans to the Moon and Mars, they hopefully know about things like these:
https://www.nasa.gov/mission/artemis-i/NASA Artemis program aims to return astronauts to the Moon.
https://www.spacex.com/human-spaceflight/moon/SpaceX has plans to send people to the Moon by building a moon base with Starship vehicles and then using the same spaceships to send people to Mars.
There is a Chinese space station orbiting Earth now. I bet many of you didn’t know that! China and Russia have announced plans to jointly build a permanent Moon base.
There are many more efforts beyond these! They are from Europe (the ESA), Japan, Russia, and others. You can find a complete list on the Wikipedia List of Missions to the Moon.
Given all of these real and exciting efforts, let’s get to FIVE UNIQUELY SPECIAL GIFTS FOR KIDS WHO CAN’T WAIT TO SEE PEOPLE ON THE MOON AND MARS. (In no particular order because they are all unique, so be sure to look at all five.)
Everyday Astronaut Merchandise
These gift options are awesome, because Tim Dodd, “the Everyday Astronaut,” is awesome. He is a somewhat random guy from Iowa who turned his love of space launches into a YouTube channel with over 1.5 million subscribers (when I write this). Check out the Everyday Astronaut Store for lots of great gift ideas.
Besides the merchandise, following the Everyday Astronaut YouTube channel is something every kid can be encouraged to do. They’ll get to watch livestreams of major rocket launches, learn about how rocket engines work, and be part of a worldwide community of space enthusiasts that can’t wait to see people get back to the Moon and then go beyond to Mars.
BONUS GIFT IDEA and RECOMMENDATION: Share and subscribe to the Scott Manley YouTube channel too. Scott gives fantastic “post-flight” recaps and analyses of space flights. Kids will learn a ton about space exploration from him and have fun doing it too.
Photos from John Kraus
John Kraus is a professional photographer who specializes in space launches and space technology. John Kraus Photos are epic works of art and science that capture the beauty of physics, engineering, and human achievement in our world. This is the photo that is on my wish list (or shopping list, if nobody gets it for me – hint hint!)
Here are a few others to tempt you:
Please spend some time browsing on his website to look at the incredible photos he has taken. Imagine one of these photos on your child’s bedroom wall… I guarantee it will be a special and unique gift that will have a positive lifetime impact on them.
Star Sailor: The Overview Chronicles by Annahita Nezami & Frank White
This novella is special and unique for several reasons. First, Star Sailor is written specifically for kids 6-12 years old. It is the story of an imaginative eight-year-old girl called Eve whose parents regularly and unapologetically ship her off to stay with her unpleasant Aunt Fanny who lives in a small, dark, creaky cottage just outside a sleepy town in England called West Broom. But during this trip, she has a transformational experience that takes her above Earth.
That is the second special and unique thing about Star Sailor. It introduces young children to the concept of The Overview Effect, a term coined by one of the co-authors, Frank White. You may not know him, but hopefully you have heard of this life-changing effect which happens when you can see the planet Earth from space.
Now that you know about it, Star Sailor is a chance for you to introduce this compelling view and perspective to a child through this enjoyable book. It’s a great gift for any child who likes to read stories and loves space exploration.
Moon Monday from Jatan Mehta
Want an innovative gift for a child who wants to know about all the efforts to bring people back to the Moon? Moon Monday from Jatan Mehta is the gift that will deliver one-of-a-kind information and insights every week for the entire year.
Jatan is an independent space exploration writer in India who is the author of Moon Monday and Indian Space Progress. These are two fantastic digests that capture the updates of these topics on a weekly basis.
You can subscribe to Jatan’s writing for free at https://blog.jatan.space/subscribe. Enjoy joining the journeys!
Autographed illustration prints from Goodnight Moon Base
I hope you agree that all of these gift ideas are uniquely special. I can’t leave you without mentioning that there are still just a few oversized illustration prints of scenes from my children’s bedtime book GOODNIGHT MOON BASE that are signed by the illustrator and my good friend and former Boeing colleague, Steve Tanaka.
If you and your child or grandchild have already been drawn into our future on the Moon with Goodnight Moon Base, what better way to transport them into this optimistic future than putting one of these scenes in their room where they can always gaze upon it. Here are photos of the prints that are still available at the time that I’m publishing this blog post:
These autographed 12″x12″ prints are normally sold for $50 each. But if you contact me by December 1st, 2023, you can have one for 1/2 price or $25, plus shipping and postage.
Maybe you would like one of these scenes on a canvas-wrapped frame? One grandparent I know is planning to do that. Email me to reserve your print and discuss the details: brett [at] howtobearocketscientist [dot] com.
Steve Tanaka and I would both love to help give the gift of Goodnight Moon Base inspirational future visions to more children out there. (You can see all Goodnight Moon Base illustrations at that link. If you would rather have a different print we can discuss that but you’ll want to contact me asap if you want it by Christmas 2023.)
Give the gift of hope and inspiration to reach for the stars
That’s what all of these gifts provide. The best is yet to come for humanity, on Earth and beyond in the cosmos. Let us make it so.