How to explain curved time and space to a five years old?

2023 Jan 19

Time and space are things that we use every day, but they can be a little tricky to understand. Imagine that time is like a big clock, and it ticks away just like the clock on the wall. But, just like a clock can be broken or slow down, time can be different in different places.

Space is like a big playground. Just like a playground has a swing, a slide, and a sandbox, space has stars, planets, and galaxies. But, just like a playground can be different shapes and sizes, space can be different shapes and sizes too.

Now, imagine that the playground is not flat like a piece of paper, but it’s curved like a big ball. That’s what scientists believe space is like. They think that space is curved because of something called gravity. Just like how a heavy ball will make a dent in a trampoline, big things like stars and galaxies can make space curve around them.

And time is also affected by gravity. Time can slow down or speed up because of the gravity. This is called “curved time” and it’s a little hard to understand, but it’s something that scientists are still trying to figure out.