Pebble alien landing

July 18, 2018

Create a scenario which is fun in itself or a great hook for further activities.

milk carton foil spaceship surrounded by pebble aliens with eyes
Author: Muddy Faces

Age Range: all ages

Duration: 1-2 hours

Location: anywhere

Time Of Day: any time

Season: any

Tags: fantasy, pebbles/stones, scenario

Category: art & creating curriculum outdoors outdoor play

Introduction

Creating a scenario like this alien crash-landing can help children engage and explore a natural environment.
An activity such as this is ideal to introduce children to an outdoor area, to provide ideas for simple play and to help them gain confidence. Or it could be introduced further into a project to reinvigorate creative play, possibly giving you a theme to observe specific learning that occurs during the child led play that is stimulated by the theme such as communication or maths.

Important note

If using sticky eyes in your outdoor setting use paper ones rather than plastic.
Paper sticky eyes are white so you can see them on the ground if they fall off, thus helping with a ‘leave no trace’ approach to being outdoors.
Plastic googly eyes are best left at home as, if lost and left behind, they can have a detrimental impact on the environment.

Preparation

Gather your materials:

  • milk carton/plastic bottle/plastic container
  • tin foil/silver paper
  • pebbles and materials to make creatures.
resources need for pebble alien activity

Preparing the scene

Create a space craft. If you are doing this as a surprise activity for your group, this is your time to play and be as creative as you like! We cut out a milk container and covered it with foil/silver paper.

Choose a crash-landing site. This can be anywhere – against the back of a building, behind some play equipment, in the park or woods.

Make your aliens. Place some pebble aliens in the spacecraft and place it in position. How about a scattering of crash debris?

alien pebbles and spaceship

Setting the scene

This can be done in different ways and needs to be age/ability appropriate. It’s quite easy to spook children as they can have very creative imaginations so consider your words and actions. It can be a tricky balance between making something exciting and going too far.

You could say the locals/caretaker heard some strange noises, sightings and smells. Invite the group to investigate and see if they can find any evidence of anything unusual.

Allow the children to explore and find out what could be making the strange noises. Observe what they say and how they react when they make their discovery.

2 boys looking at pebble aliens

Anything could happen next…

Promote discussion: Why have the aliens crashed? I wonder where they have the come from? What do they eat? How are they going to get home? Do they want to go home?

Following the children’s interests could also lead to all sorts of scenarios. The children involved in these photos fed the aliens with seasonal goodies, made shelters, balanced them on sticks and made a playground.

pebble aliens on log round and childrens arms

Further adult-led props and hooks

Earpiece
We needed to interpret and understand what the alien pebbles were communicating. A stick was used as an interpreting earpiece to help translate; the rest is up to the imagination!

using a stick to listen to pebble alien

Hatchery
Go miniature and introduce a pebble alien hatchery.

We washed some egg shells and put the baby aliens in them.

tiny pebble hatchery and 2 pebble aliens with eyes on grass