How to Set Up a Science Area In a Small Space for Multi-Ages
Updated: Apr 4
In the midst of the pandemic it can be rather challenging to keep Hope alive. It is torture not seeing the kids, and it has been mentally exhausting at the same time as parents have left the program and may not able to return due to loss of job income and not knowing what the future may hold.
As I received those messages my first thought was what am I doing.... why is it that I seem okay while everything around me and in my life appears to be falling apart?! I see children as our future, it is kind of hard for me not to remain positive in a pandemic when a classroom is in my home. Our work at the Studio has only just begun.
As we accept the reality that we are actually in a pandemic we certainly need to make plans for what lies ahead. Schoolagers being out of school is a big deal for a lot of reasons. In Michigan the date of return is April 6th, however that could all change. Knowing that it may become a possibility I wanted to make sure that their materials are as accessible as possible, while not having to be separated into other areas. It is important to me that they feel that they belong and that their day is somewhat normal as it could be under the circumstances.
I decided to start with the Science Interest Center since it had become a popular area, since we have been learning about Pond Life for the past couple of weeks. Plus, I received our next preschool curriculum box from Experience Early Learning and April's theme is Birds & Eggs. Woot! Inspiration Abounds.
We had a sensory area and a science interest area, but due to the space I combined the two areas together. I then added the shelving on the wall for the elementary children to have access to their developmentally appropriate materials. I put a wide range of intro to sciences to give a variety of choices.
Swirling Snails is a STEAM STATION activity from Week 3 of Pond Life in our preschool curriculum. Although, it is part of a younger age group it is still a very engaging activity for an elementary age child. I included the Big Questions beside the basket that holds the materials, so that they could connect their playing with a purpose. We love to play! I know play is their work, however sometimes they are confused that they are actually learning while playing. Also, they love being able to do self selected work.
There is a small table for two to do work together, it could be a preschooler or elementary child working side by side. We're getting called back into action to reopen back up on Monday, March 30th as there are parents who are in need of childcare.
I thought it would be a great way to start back up with jumping right into April's theme Bird & Eggs, although I did leave some work available from the Pond Life theme. Those bags on the wall are not just any bags, they're Algae Sensory Bags that we made last week as part of our lessons in Pond Life. They enjoyed them a lot. Experience Early Learning has great ideas for sensory play that we use all the time.
On the science table is a STEAM STATION activity from Birds & Eggs, "Birds in Flight". They will use the fan to test objects that may fly, or not fly and sort them. Having the Big Questions will help them to stay focused and extend their learning, while everything is flying around. So much fun!
"Bird Food" is also a STEAM STATION from our preschool curriculum for week 1 of Birds & Eggs.
The picture of the bird is from inside of the first week's Lesson Guide book Birds & Eggs. I am learning that every material that Experience Early Learning provides offers resources beyond what they were intended for.
I also added pictures of some of the kids engaged in science in the area on the wall. Combining two areas together and adding shelves with developmentally appropriate materials that keep materials out of reach from younger hands that are not quite ready for the materials really did help make this small space accommodating for multi ages.
As an Experience Early Learning Blogger, I receive the Experience Early Learning Preschool curriculum in exchange for my honest and authentic experiences. As always, my opinions are 100% my own. #preschool #familychildcare #EELblogger