Pebble alien landing
Create a scenario which is fun in itself or a great hook for further activities.
Age Range: all ages
Duration: 1-2 hours
Time Of Day: any time
Category: art & creating curriculum outdoors outdoor play
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.
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.
Gather your materials:
- milk carton/plastic bottle/plastic container
- tin foil/silver paper
- pebbles and materials to make creatures.
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?
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.
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.
Further adult-led props and hooks
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!
Go miniature and introduce a pebble alien hatchery.
We washed some egg shells and put the baby aliens in them.