Small Space at the National Space Centre, Leicester

A sensory experience which gets youngsters keen about science and space

lauren and daughter at small space day Leicester

It’s never too young to start learning about and introducing science. We all remember that first science lesson when the teacher made something blow up in the test tube with the bunsen burner, right?

It’s one of those rite of passage moments where you go, ok wow, science might actually be pretty cool. And it is!

I’ve always been fascinated by space and, in particular, constellations of stars. I remember one year when I was young asking for a telescope that connected to the laptop for Christmas. It’s just always seemed so fascinating.

My interest in space is why I’ve been eager to get our little one emerged so early. The small space sessions that run at the National Space Centre are a perfect way to start getting the little ones involved with science and space. Although it is aimed at slightly older children (2 to 5 years), our daughter was able to access and enjoy many elements of the space centre already at 14 months old.

We checked out the Small Space with Mrs Claus which offered sensory experiences, sing-a-longs, story time with Mrs Claus and the Elves, arts and crafts and free roam of the exhibitions in the space centre.

Our daughter thoroughly enjoyed the sing-a-long session watching the elves check off Mrs Claus to-do list. She loved shaking the musical instruments with the other children and clapping along to parents and toddlers singing Christmas tunes. She engaged well with story-time and liked waving at Mrs Claus. The older children shrieked in delight as Mrs Claus entered the room and the space themed toys for children to play with as the stories were being delivered was a nice touch.

Offered on a regular basis, Small Space is a dedicated session for small children, not open to schools or groups to allow toddlers to explore and engage with the exhibitions. Throughout the day, there are various repeat sessions which allows for the sessions to be less crowded.

Our little one loved engaging with the model space station and held our hand to wander around the different things that caught her eye.

The planetarium offered an educational show following a little astronaut seeking out the planets in our solar system. Children loved interacting with the questions and watching the astronaut fly around. Our daughter, although not able to engage with the educational aspect, enjoyed watching the cartoon and followed the astronaut with intent. The production is currently being shown in over 40 countries, but was created here at the Space Centre in Leicester!

Don’t miss out on sitting in the café underneath the rocket, every so often, you’ll get a little surprise which youngsters are sure to love!

The Small Space day is a great way to get little ones engaged and interested in space. With the Space Centre, if you do book your ticket online you can upgrade for a free annual pass allowing for unlimited visits (outside of premium days such as this one), so I’m sure that is something we will be opting to do soon.

The Space Centre is located on Exploration Drive, Leicester. Tickets for general admission at time of print, are £16.95 per adult, children (5-16) and concessions £13.95 and under 5’s free. Parking is £3 per car all day.

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