Night Sky’ing 2

Orion the HunterYesterday’s post about making a game out of the night sky got me thinking about some of my favorite stories from my childhood – and many of them relate to the stars.

Myths typically use familiar events to explain the unexplainable, and that’s what the ancient Greeks and Romans did with what they saw in the sky. Not all, but many mythological stories are about the constellations.

So settle your stargazing party guests down for their ‘slumber party’ night or for the end of your outdoor or camping party with some good tales about the stars.  You’ll find an explanation of the relationship between the constellations and myth that you can then pass on to the kids at http://comfychair.org/~cmbell/myth/myth.html.

Scroll down to the ‘Major Constellations’ section and you’ll find links to the myths for various constellations. The site http://www.windows2universe.org/mythology/stars.html also has constellation stories, and of course there’s the library. Amazon lists a bunch of kids books with constellation stories so there will be several at your local library to choose from.

Instead of letting your sleepover guests run themselves ragged and keep you up all night, it’s certainly worth a shot at settling them down. Nothing works quite as well to do that as engaging stories that they’ve not heard before. If you can get them in their sleeping bags to listen- all the better. And if it fails and they stay up anyways, they’ve heard some good stories and no harm done.

So think about reading some mythology to the kids at your next outdoor, after-dark fete.

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