We’re really enjoying our space week and I’m loving the challenge of finding a new activity every day for us to indulge in! Today we went for some Tuff spot action using good old Moon sand (recipe here) and lots of space inspired accessories. To make the Space scene I used:
- moon sand! I scattered it around the Tuff spot and added some glitter to give it a sparkle
- marbles and bouncy balls- these were to give the moon sand a little extra sparkle and texture, and also to represent meteors
- plastic space theme toys- rocket and star cutters, Buzz Lightyear figures Darth Vader figure (!), plastic stars and salt dough stars
- egg cartons- to give the landscape some bumps, and for making patterns in the moon sand
- tumble dryer balls- for added textures and to make patterns in the sand
I then hid a few letters in the moon sand for the pre-schooler to find during his play. I used tiles from The Big One’s Banaagrams game, making sure that I picked the letters I was fairly sure the pre-schooler knew. These included letters from his name, plus a few more. I didn’t tell him the letters were hidden there but he saw them straight away and was very keen to collect them all. He:
- recognised all the letters in his name but could only name the ‘L’ and the ‘K’ and was unable to order them to spell out his name
- recognised ‘M’, ‘O’, ‘B’ and ‘E’
- tried to order the letters to make words
Once he’d found the letters, I encouraged the pre-schooler to just play. He loves moon sand and needed no encouragement really! He quickly took his shoes and socks off and got right into the space scene (I LOVE this about the Tuff Spot!), scooping and sprinkling and moulding the sand into shapes. This is such a fantastic sensory material and this batch has kept so well in a ziplock bag since we made it!
After a while, I noticed that the pre-schooler was making patterns in the moon sand with his finger. He told me that he was writing so I asked him to tell me what it said. He started to tell me a wonderful story about spacemen and aliens and it was so lovely to see him relate his writing to a story!
We then practise some more mark making:
- the pre-schooler used his finger tip to make marks in the moon sand, saying that his finger was his pencil
- he practised writing his name
- he drew shapes- circle, triangle and square
- he copied pattersn that I drew in the moon sand- zig zags and swirls
What better material to use in the Tuff Spot for a space theme than moon sand? The pre-schooler loved this play session and I was able to leave him for quite a while playing happily by himself. This is a great activity for kids who aren’t so keen on getting messy and for parents who want to keep play a little cleaner too!