Gallery 6

Space Play

A large red magnetic sign holding colourful magnets in the shape of cogs and numbers, a wall painted with planets and the entrance way to a pretend space ship
A round padded tan coloured play area with mirrors in the inside wall and assortment of soft toys in the centre area. The words "Place babies here" is written on the padded floor.

Part role play, part scientific investigation space.

How it works

A walk in 'space ship' allows children to role play being an astronaut, while also offering simple hands-on science experiments that they might do 'mid-flight'.

Things to try or ask around the exhibit

Encourage little scientists to discover and delve deeper by asking questions, such as:

  • “What else might do that?”
  • “Can you tell me about something here that you have never seen before?"
  • “Can you find something that would fix the problem?”
  • “Did that do something that surprised you?”
  • “Can you make it change?”


Science is about discovery and, as a child, there is so much to discover. All these discoveries are used to build up an understanding of the world and our place in this world.

Toddlers may be at an intensely curious stage of talking and doing. You are probably familiar with the question “What’s that?” They also spend a lot of time exploring and manipulating things and will watch and imitate actions (the beginning of role-play).

Encourage Pre-schoolers to do simple experiments. They quickly become familiar with and engrossed in new activities. Their vocabulary and thinking skills will expand. This helps them talk about ideas, solve problems and plan ahead.

School aged children have a better understanding of sharing and taking turns, and much of their time is spent deciding on rules and roles. They will be eager to do, explore and ask the entire range of questions: “Who? What? Where? When?”