Recently, as part of teaching my son to count, we’ve been watching lots of space shuttle launch videos. I like watching the space shuttle take off videos as they involve a countdown and it encourages us to practice counting down numbers even when we are away from the computer or iPad. It is a fun way to complement any math activities, counting videos¬†or number charts that you might be using to teach your child to count.

Plus my son loves all things big and loud and space shuttles are right up his alley. He is absolutely glued to the screen as we watch the videos.

So after watching what feels like hundreds of videos, here are my favorite videos from YouTube.

Space Shuttle Launch


This particular video is great because it has an amazing range of images and angles of the space shuttle prior to take off. Also the sound of the take off is amazing and you can quite easily imagine the ground shaking when viewing the launch.

The space shuttle launch doesn’t occur until 1:30 minutes into the video, so beforehand my son and I talk about what is happening to get the space shuttle ready such as:
– there are the rocket engines, that’s where the fire will come out of
– the astronauts are putting on their helmets and are getting ready

Once the space shuttle has lift off our discussion turns to:
– all the fire and smoke coming from the rocket engines
– looking at the space shuttle flying through the sky
– I always point the point the space shuttle breaks through the sound barrier (at the 2:20 minute mark)
– the separation of the booster rockets is another highlight (at 3:05 minutes)

After watching a video we play “rocketship” where we countdown from 20 while bending our knees and holding our hands above our heads.

Space Shuttle Launch NASA Atlantis to the International Space Station


I like this particular video as it starts 1:30 minutes before launch and contains some amazing footage of the space shuttle and launch pad. The view of the fire and smoke upon take off is really amazing. The post launch space shuttle roll and the booster rocket separation are captured really well too. The video contains NASA commentary that explains what is happening through out the video.

Generally, we watch the first 4:00 minutes of the video but if you watch until the 10:00 minutes mark you will get to see the main tank separation.

IMAX // Shuttle launch

I like this video as the compilation of high definition images is taken from a documentary. The video contains some amazing footage shot from close proximity to the launch pad. The video is only 2:35 minutes in length and ends shortly after sowing the booster rocket separation.

Rocket Ship – Lift Off

Playing rocket ship with your child takes on a new perspective once you’ve watched this Sesame Street video of a NASA space shuttle launch.

Featuring an astronaut doing a countdown this is a great countdown video for young preschoolers.

Space shuttle launches high-speed video camera slow motion views

This video is great for older children. It contains slow motion footage of the space shuttle take off with expert commentary.

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