This term at nursery my charges have been learning about Space and both seem really interested on the subject so during half term I took the eldest (4 years) to the Planetarium and Royal Observatory in Greenwich. We booked to see the Space Safari for 11am, and I was very glad I booked online as by the time we got there pretty much all the shows for the day had sold out. Getting there was in itself an adventure, not only did we have to take the underground but also the DLR! My charge found the DLR fascinating purely for the fact that it drives itself, he decided to take it upon himself to “drive” it, just to make sure we ended up in the right place. If you do decide to take public transport rather than drive be warned that it is about a 20-30 minute walk (depending on leg size) and the last 5 minutes is up a very steep hill. It is however a beautiful walk through Greenwich past the naval college (we even found Thor’s hammer) and through the park.
The show that we saw was the Space Safari, that saw us travel through our solar system with Ted who was on the look out for the great big bear. This show is narrated live by an astrophysicist who tells you about each planet in bite sized details that makes this ideal for children under 7 who have an interest in space. After your brief explanation about the planets who are subjected to a chorus of children singing about the planet you are visiting. The only down side was that while I love listening to children sing, listening to a chorus that are singing at different times and with poor diction makes it not only difficult to listen to but also hard to understand. Your trip through space only lasts about 15 minutes, which was perfect for my charge’s attention span. On a side note if you or your child does suffer from motion sickness then a trip to space may not be the best idea.
We spent a little time looking at the photographs that where on display, but by this point it was no longer holding his attention so we headed out and across to the Royal Observatory (we had bought a combo ticket so that we could get into both). Unless your child is older and is interested in looking at old telescopes and time pieces or you want to get a picture standing on the prime meridian I would not bother getting a ticket for the Royal Observatory.
All in all my charge enjoyed his trip to Greenwich and space, which is all that matters in the end. Oh and did Ted ever find his great big bear? Well, I wont spoil it, you will just have to venture into space to find out.