A shooting star or meteor
Whichever name you like
The minute it comes down to Earth
It’s called a meteorite
According to NASA, The 2012 Quadrantids, a little-known meteor shower will take place in the early morning hours on Wednesday, January 4 around 3 a.m. local time. You should get about two hours of excellent meteor observing before dawn.
You could wake your kids up early to watch or tell them all about it when they wake up and let them watch this great video of one of my very favorite They Might Be Giants songs, What Is a Shooting Star?