Nursery activities: Our bright idea - Blast off

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Following the creation of a colourful display about hot air balloons (Nursery World, 10 May), the children of St Osmund's Pre-school have been making up exciting stories about journeys into space as they play in their small world space station.


To begin to use talk to pretend imaginary situations

To use some number names accurately in play

To show an interest in why things happen and how things work

To introduce a story line or narrative into their play


- Small-world equipment associated with space travel, such asastronauts, a space station or airport, space vehicles

- posters and books about space travel and the universe

- silver stars

- black paper

- paper plates

- paint

- sponges

- salad spinners


- Look at the space related books and posters together and discuss howastronauts travel into space to discover more about planets.

- Suggest creating a space station to launch small-world rockets intospace.

- Encourage the children to help to cover low display boards in a quietcorner with black backing paper and stars. Add the posters and somepaper plate planets made using techniques such as sponge dabbing andsalad spinner painting (see 'Our Bright Idea', 10 May).

- Hang the books along the back wall and invite children to arrange therest of the resources on the floor space. Find any additional resourcesrequested by them.

- Leave the children to play freely with their space station. Returnregularly to join play, encouraging children to count down from 5 or 10as rockets blast off into space.

- Ask the children to make up stories about what is happening and scribetheir words for them. Create handmade books to hang in the area.


- Supply sticky shapes and invite children to fasten them to card tocreate rocket shapes to cut out and attach to the backgrounddisplay.

- Make some three-dimensional planets from balloons covered in papiermache to hang above the area.

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