SciencePlay Kids is a studio and laboratory space in Maidstone that encourages children to explore scientific concepts in a fun and creative way.
Lorien Parker, a medical research scientist with young kids of her own, holds weekly drop in science workshops for preschoolers (around 2.5 yo to 6 yo) inside the MREAM art studios in Maidstone. Baby 2.0 and I both had a great time and will definitely be returning on a regular basis.
The session starts with some dressing up – lab coats and goggles for all. Not only does this lend a sense of occasion to the class, but it also provides practical cover for spills and mess as well as protecting eyes from some of the ingredients used eg vinegar.
Then the children are asked to find – and use – their supersonic listening ears before selecting their equipment. This provides children with ‘ownership’ of their research and because each child has their own research station it helps prevent fighting over equipment.
During an hour class there are generally two or three hands-on science experiments that use everyday, non-toxic household products.
We learn about acids and bases and experiment with vinegar, coloured bicarb soda, lemons and popping candy. Simple yet effective! The kids are so engaged and focused and the hour goes quickly with a very satisfying mess on the table and floor to show for it.
Note that all classes require adult supervision. Children are encouraged to explore on their own but because of their age group adult guidance is essential. The classes have also been structured so that activities can be continued or extended at home. At the end of the session kids can take home the experiment they have completed as well as a handout and materials.
SciencePlay Kids ticks all the boxes for me. I am passionate about STEM education in early childhood, I love classes that don’t require a term commitment and places where kids can experiment and get dirty…and I don’t have to do the cleaning up. Lorien is clearly passionate about teaching children that science is everywhere and the classes are fun and educational. Get your science on!
- Suitable for 2.5yo – 6 year olds;
- Adult supervision required;
- Classes are limited to 10 children in each session so booking in advance is advised in order to avoid missing out;
- Monday 10:30am is the most popular class and books out weeks in advance;
- Classes are messy so don’t wear your best clothes;
- Free parking in nearby side streets, no parking on Hampstead Road.