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Hi everyone,


We are currently doing the topic 'Blast off!' all about space. We have done a week about aliens, a week about Earth and this next week we are doing the solar system. Does anybody have any ideas that you could share with me about how to teach this topic to Reception children?? I want to look at the different planets and let them do some artwork. Next week we are doing the sun and moon and the week after the stars so this week is mainly focusing on the planets.


Obviously I don't want to go too deep but I do want them to be gripped and engaged


Sarah xx

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What are the curriculum aspects you are focusing on through the topic? What skills learning do you want to take place? It's hard to give ideas without knowing what you want the children to learn in terms of the EYFS outcomes .

However you could be linking this to creative development: music and dance or responding to experiences (though not of going to space obviously!!) through the Planets suite?



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My children are working below ARE so I need to work on profile points from 4 really (1-3 still for some children). I want to get some Calculating, KUW and writing in as they are the three lowest areas for us. I like the responding to music - this could be done in our PE slot. For calculating all I can think of at the minute that links is combing planets... but seems a bit dull and perhaps a tedious link.



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Probably a silly question to ask! But I needed to scan in some images from my teaching practice portfolio - didn't want to do this if you didn't really need ideas for art.

When I did my teaching practice we had an art input. We were provided with a huge amount of resources to do as we wished. I discovered (by accident!) a fantastic technique. It is more complicated to explain than to do! This is what you do ...



Assorted colours of ready mix paint

PVA glue

2 x A4 Acetate sheets per child

1 sheet of white A4 paper with a large circle (just smaller than the width of the paper) drawn on it

Black A4 card with large circle cut out from centre (circle approx 17cms diameter)

Yes, some preparation - but well worth it for the results. ;)


1. Mix paint with some PVA glue

2. Place 1 acetate sheet on top of the A4 paper (so that you can see the circle)

3. Using a paintbrush, dot the acetate with paint (try to keep within the circle, but not too important!)

4. Place the 2nd sheet of acetate directly on top of the 1st sheet (sandwiching the paint between the layers of acetate)


STAND UP! (If not already)

5. Place your hand in the centre of the circle

6. Pressing down on the acetate sheet, slowly turn the sheet so that it revolves 360 degrees


8. Glue the black card (with pre-cut hole) on top of the acetate 'planet'

9. The resulting abstract paintings look just like beautiful planets - for best effect they should be held up to the light - when they have been mounted they look wonderful displayed on a window.


I will upload the pictures I took when on teaching practice to give you a better idea of the end results. They all look very different.

When I did this with a Year 2 class I was teaching 'abstract' art - the work was never intended as 'planets' which is why they were not all mounted on black card - but the idea lends itself perfectly to 'planets' and the solar system.

Note I have since repeated it in nursery - so it could easily be done in a reception class.





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They look brilliant!! I will have to give it a go myself first though and see what results i get haha!! Thank you for sharing xx

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We have just done paint mixing to paint planets - produce striped/mottled effects - chose two colours from red, yellow or blue powder paint so got lots of different shades. These are displayed, hanging, with two back to back and stuffed with newspaper for 3D effect (get it?)


We also do collages of earth - green tissue on blue circles or green tissue on blue circles to show patches of land and sea after we have looked at a globe.


We have made sets of rockets (i.e 2's, 3's 4's) (unifix cubes) on laminated sheets of 2, 3, 4, or 5 planets to count total (count rep sets of same number)

and later shared rockets (unifix cubes to do it practically then pics of rockets to record our work) between planets e.g collect 12 rockets - share equally onto 3 planets, onto 4 planets, also tried 11 rockets to see how they reacted when the rockets did not work out equally.


We have an interactive display of numbered planets to be ordered - forwards or backwards (extension- remove numbers - can children record missing numerals?)


Build a rocket to fly to a planet - roll 1,2,3 spot dice and add bricks to build up to 10 (or whatever you choose for your children), predict new total each time.


Beebot number track - rocket flies to a planet up track, roll 1,2,3 spot dice and programme Beebot to reach planet - we usually have two numberlines going so the children can race or chalk number outdoors and draw a planet at the top - children can be astronauts and jump towards their planet when dice is rolled.


Planets with a big number in the centre - count windows on rockets and make them fly to their number planet - supports 1:1 counting and number recognition can be targeted accordingly.

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