Space invaders

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By Jenni Tavenerearly years teacher and writer

Get creative and make your own space-themed resources from an assortment of recyclable materials

Girl in box

Recyclable materials can make great imaginative space ships

Space centre

Invite the children to help create a ‘space centre’ with recyclable materials, where they can design and construct space-themed toys such as a small-world spaceship for a teddy or doll, a small-world moon buggy with wheels or a robot with numbered dials and buttons.

Encourage the children to help collect the recyclable materials, for example, 3D items such as boxes, trays and plastic bottles, 2D items such as paper, card and foil, decorative items including buttons and beads, and textured items such as wool, felt, netting and fur fabric.

Ask the children to place the materials in separate containers and label each container with words, pictures or photographs explaining the contents. Set up a ‘work in progress’ area for storing unfinished models, and create a display area for finished work. Arrange a ‘making’ area with resources such as sticky tape, masking tape, washable glue, child scissors and pens and pencils. Store strips of card or paper nearby for the children to write name labels for their models.

Suggested resources

Clean, recyclable materials such as cereal boxes, margarine tubs, yoghurt pots, polystyrene trays, foil trays, plastic and cardboard lids, old celebration cards, colourful wrapping paper, Cellophane, tracing paper, sequins, lace, ribbon and cotton reels; small and large storage containers; selection of ongoing resources; digital camera (optional).

1 Moving on the moon

Create a moon vehicle

Creative Development

Exploring Media and Materials

Development matters: begin to be interested in and describe the texture of things (30-50 months); work creatively on a large or small scale (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions.

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