To infinity and beyond

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer.

Pretend to be astronauts in space with these fantastic activity ideas

Space boy

Space-themed role play

Create a space station or moon-landing scene in your role-play area. Drape black fabric or paper over the walls and ceiling to represent outer space, or help the children to create a planetarium scene representing a galaxy of stars (see activity 3). Display space-themed photographs and posters nearby.

Create a rocket, large enough for the children to sit inside, using a giant cardboard box. Make a pointed top by folding a large semicircle of card into a cone shape. Cut a large oval opening in one side for the children to clamber inside and cut several small portholes around the other sides so that they can look out. Make the inside futuristic by adding random patches of silver foil and bubble wrap, connected by loops of cable, tubes or bendy piping. Encourage the children to make an instrument panel and include two chairs or beanbags for the ‘astronauts’ to sit on. Decorate the outside of the rocket with thick paint or sticky paper. Use foil dishes to represent engine thrusters and add giant letters or numbers on the nose cone of the rocket. Let the children dress up as astronauts and explore the rocket.

Suggested resources

Role-play area; black fabric or paper; space-themed photographs and posters including pictures of the earth and moon; cardboard box; large semicircle of card; scissors (adult use); silver foil; bubble wrap; small and large pieces of cable, tubing or bendy piping; paint; sticky paper shapes; large letter templates; two small chairs or beanbags; commercial dressing-up clothes such as spacesuits and moon boots, or adapted fancy-dress items.

1 Letter from space

Write a letter home describing a space exploration

Communication, Language and Literacy

Handwriting

Development matters: use one-handed tools and equipment (30-50 months); begin to form recognisable letters (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: use a pencil and hold it effectively to form recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.

What you need

Group size: small groups.

Space-themed role-play area; paper; felt-tipped pens; pencils; real or pretend stamps; envelopes; computer or laptop (optional).

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