Learning about Space with sensory bins, books & more!
Often times we as parents or educators don’t give our children enough credit.
I remember once when I was working on my practicum for my child development degree, I was in a class where we created developmental activities for infants and toddlers. After creating the developmental activities we had to read aloud what our developmental objectives were for each activity, what supplies we needed, what we would need to watch for as the children played, etc. I didn’t even realize at the time that we as students kept saying over and over again how we would have to help the infants and toddlers with this or that. To our surprise the teacher abruptly stopped us, and with a frustrated tone she said, “They can do more than you think they can!”
Children Can Do More Than We Think They Can
That always stuck with me. “They can do more than you think they can!” As I have continued creating activities, taught preschool and am now a mother of my own children, I see just how important that lesson was for me that day. We refrain from trying to teach “difficult” subjects to young children because we think that they can’t handle it, but in actuality, they can do more than we think they can!
When we incorporate learning into play, we are able to teach endless concepts to young children that they not only will begin to grasp, but they will thrive understanding!
Naturally children love learning and are curious about the world around them. Truly we should become more children like ourselves and ask a million “why?” questions just as they do. Learning stops when we stop asking questions. For some reason we as adults start to feel insecure while asking questions as if it makes us look weak, when in actuality that’s how growth takes place. Not children. They are constantly asking questions and seeking to understand the world around them.
Using Safari Ltd’s Solar System and Space Bulk Bag we are able to learn about our solar system, what astronauts do, how man first landed on the moon, how the rocket ship separated parts off into space and then reattached in order to return back to Earth. We can have conversations about gravity, moons, light, darkness, life on planets, stars, etc.
Some of our favorite ways to do this is by:
- Checking out library books on space
- Putting our space toys into a sensory bin
- Watching documentaries about space and when man landed on the moon
I created solar system infographic printables to compliment the Safari Ltd’s Solar System toys so that when my children dig for planets in their sensory activity they can then match the planets to the associated planet on the card. We are then able to compare and contrast features such as size, gravity, number of moons, and temperature. The ways you can extend learning are endless! The best part about using Safari Ltd’s space products to help children learn through play is that the details match the actual features of rockets, Hubble telescopes, astronauts and satellites. We loved being able to pop some popcorn, watch a documentary on space and use the toys to stop and observe features in a hands on way.
Children can do more than we give them credit for. I’m constantly surprised by how much they grasp, particularly when teaching is done in a fun and engaging way through hands on play and experiences. Yes, even my two year old and four year old can tell you about gravity, how many moons our planets in our solar system have, that the sun is actually a star, no the moon doesn’t actually shine it is only reflecting light, and Earth is the third planet from the sun. Let them explore, let them ask questions, they can do more than we think they can! And guess what, you will probably learn more too!