Why you should have an investigation station
Investigation stations are great to introduce to any room within an early years setting and can easily be adapted to suit the age, stage and interests of the children. Investigation stations can be placed anywhere in a room maybe on a unit, draws, black tray, floor space etc. They offer an extra element of discovery to a room and really engage the characteristics of effective learning. If used well and often children are excited to see what the investigation station has to offer that week or month.
When deciding how and where to create your investigation station you want to ensure it is accessible, located in an area of the room that isn’t particularly noisy or busy as you want the children to be able to engage for as long as they want without interruption or distraction. You may want to include some thought provoking questions such as how does it smell, does it make a sound, etc. When deciding what you would like to add to your investigation you may want to consider some of these ideas…
· Promoting the senses
· Knowledge of the world
· Based around a book
· Group interest
· Seasons and the weather
· A festival that is coming up
· Enhancing a skill which many of the children need supporting with
Top ideas and resources
1. Is it magnetic?
2. Does it sink or float?
3. Which is heavier?
4. Can you fill the bag so its full, half full, make one empty?
5. Planting and growing cress or sunflower seeds include watering cans or pipettes to water the plans, paper to draw pictures as the plants grow,
6. Magnifying glasses and vegetables – Texture, weight, colour, size, smell
7. All about me, mirrors and face making materials such as circle face shapes, buttons, wool, beads
8. Sorting – Colour sorting, shape sorting, number sorting etc, can you make it more challenging by encouraging the children to sort them using tweezers or by using touch only?
9. Building – Can you make a bug using the sticks, stones and leaves? Can you build a house using sticks and clay? Can you make a car using cotton reels and straws?
10. Natural resources – Investing the texture, sounds, smells, weights, sizes of stones, twigs, shells, pine cones, feathers, corks, etc…
For more great ideas check out our Pinterest board here