Sunday, 22 January 2012

Creating a science area

How do you create an interesting KUW area? Here are some ideas!!

I have recently had a request from a practitioner asking how to create an area to cover Knowledge and Understanding of the world on a budget. The first thing I have suggested is to scour the local car boot sales and jumble sales if you have a little cash. If this is not an option, the best way is to ask your parents to help you.

If you create a list of items that you need and provide you parents with the list and a covering letter, explaining why you are asking for the items and the benefits it will have on the children's learning, you can get some equipment without spending a penny.

But, what sort of items would you be looking for? Well it can vary from everyday items and materials to things such as bug catchers and magnifying glasses, which are not so easily obtained. One idea which I thought was very good is to have a box full of old alarm clocks and watches that children can take to pieces and explore the cogs and pieces to discover how they work!! I haven't seen this in a setting as to yet, but have heard about their effectiveness.

Here is a list of ideas:

* heuristic play bags
* sensory puzzles
* Natural box/treasure baskets including wooden items
* Kaleidoscopes
* Windchimes (hung from ceiling as well as in the outdoor area)
* Posters about the body, weather, natural materials etc
* Games about the above also
* Use the area for growing seeds, such as cress ( you could have an interest table in the area for such activities with posters etc around it.
* Books on the weather, plants, the body etc
* A light box - a box containing torches, touch lights, neon wands, mini bubble lamps etc
* Buttons (easily collected from craft banks, parents and around the house!!)
* Feely bags
* Displaying a calender with date, month, year and weather, seasons etc
* Coloured feathers
* Massage balls
* Shells
* Light and sound tubes
* Mirrors
*Water blocks

It is a good idea if possible to have your science area situated near to your sand and water areas as many of the items are usable in both areas. You can therefore have watermills, sand moulds and containers for measuring and sizing which help children to explore cause and effect as well as the mathematical possibilities the sand and water area holds.

What works in your science area??

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