Nancy's Pantry is an extensive collaborative project with Gemma Timms where EEC developed the concept for a space like no other. Parents can eat whilst children are encouraged to explore the world around them. ''The aim is to encourage kids to look harder and see more''. Different experimental zones, dependent on age, are set up to for children to stop, observe and question what they see, feel, smell and hear. Play educators are there every day to introduce new topics. It could be as simple as getting up to your elbows in mud or as complex as questioning what is in an empty glass. Within the 4000sq ft space are two 17m long shelves support jars containing the elements of the world. These are accessed for daily experiments and over time children come to understand these elements.
We use nature as a catalyst for for play and exploration. On a daily basis we bring in new elements of the natural world for children to discover, observe and question. Different Zones encourage different methods of discovery. Excerpts from the brochure gives a simplified insight into the zones:
Object Zone Pit, a multi-functional wet space where daily science and nature experiments take place.
Object Zone, Observation and analysis. Artefacts, live organisms, magnifiers and microscopes.
Sensory Zone stimulates awareness and sensory play for those not old enough for experiments yet. Projector Zone for light theatre performance, puppetry, paper cuts and observational play.
Open space for drawing, movement, performance and events