The pod looks out of this world as we blast off on our space adventures as part of the Sense project. The diversity of skills that the children reveal to us in their play always amazes us! As we explore our space theme the children wow us with their increased confidence as they excitedly crawl through the space tunnel to arrive in the other world of the pod, and soon begin to experiment and investigate their surroundings.
There is so much to explore; they experiment with reflections, magnetism and forces; they look at light and shadow, and they create their own experiments to see which materials they can see glowing lights through, testing sheer materials, foils and fur.
It is simply amazing the high level of science and technology discovery that children will independently engage in when left to their own devices. The pod is their domain and other than us, providing an overall theme and a wide range of sensory-rich resources, it is the children who set the agenda.
Their sense of curiosity and wonder is simply infectious. They demonstrate some great maths skills as they busily stack, sort, order and count. They use fine motor skills to wrap foil strands, post stars, and use tongs to lift out jewels and alien life forms from ‘space slime’, building on their hand-eye coordination. As they negotiate the space of the pod, play with the large hanging planets, big foam laser lights and develop their own games, we see not only their gross motor skill development but also their interpersonal skills growing.
The children are keen to share their discoveries with each other and staff and involve others in their play.
Whilst some explore the environment, others play with the rockets, narrating their own journeys to planets: “5,4,3,2,1 - blast off!” “zoom, zoom” “we are here!”.
Early friendships develop as children work cooperatively to search for gems or fill containers and it is lovely to hear them requesting help, saying ‘your turn’ or sharing ideas.
We have had some brilliant multi sensory experiences, from walking through jelly and burying little feet in purple sand, to tasting real astronaut food and listening to the other worldly interpretations of space soundtracks with their eerie but meditative sounds. The time flies as the children are so focused on activities and all too soon it is time to return to earth.
We are ‘over the moon’ with everything the children have shown us in our space theme - they truly are little stars.