Today on Bristol Mum is a reader’s review of Mini Professors: science sessions for 2-4 year olds in Warmley and Emersons Green.
Mini Professors sessions include interactive experiments, story-telling, singing and a short video on the subject of the day.
There are 80 different topics, designed to engage and inspire children whilst they have lots of fun! Each mini professor has a lab coat to wear and at the end of each session they receive a sticker to put in their Research Logs.
Mini Professors runs during term time on Mondays in Warmley and Thursdays in Emersons Green.
I hope you find this review helpful…
How old is your little girl and how long has she been going to Mini Professors?
Darcey is 3 years old and has been attending Mini Professors since it began in Warmley for about a year.
What is the venue like?
Darcey attends Mini Professors at The Batch in Warmley in the Lear Room. The Batch is a brilliant centre for the community with all its rooms bright, big and inviting.
The facilities are all very new and include a great little café which is perfect to refuel after our brains have been stretched at Mini Professors!
What is the routine of a typical Mini Professors session?
Darcey tends to arrive a little early to the sessions and Professor Emily always has a box of books which early arrivals can choose from. So we choose a mat to sit on and read some of the topical books together before Emily begins the session.
Emily then starts with a great discussion usually involving lots of visual prompts including photographs and props and then we do the first experiment on the Tuff Spot trays.
Once the first experiment is done it’s back to the mats for a Mini Professors video on the big screen and then we’re ready for the second experiment. Once the activities are over, Emily then gathers the children around her on the mats and reads them a story, relevant to the day’s session, often ad-libbing and adding lots of great actions and accents! Darcey loves this bit!
What activities do children do?
The experiments vary massively from week to week, ranging from activities where we’ve raced other professors across the room, to activities looking at how water can hold its’ shape or change colour depending on its’ density. We’ve grown cress, we’ve made models of our bodies to look at the digestive system, we’ve made bird feeders… the list goes on; but we now have lots of science experiments around the house and a whole lot more to talk about at the dinner table!
What themes have been covered and what was Darcey’s favourite theme so far?
Professor Emily has covered a huge range of themes over the last two terms including water, the digestive system, birds, space, skin, mirrors, plants, sound, Christmas, colours, balancing, textures, colours, magnets, heavy and light, bodies, fossils, fluorescence, microscopes, machines, rainforests, … I’m trying to remember them all because they have expertly covered so much! (Just dug out her research logs!).
What is Emily like with the children?
Emily is absolutely wonderful with the Mini Professors. She has a lovely, gentle manner with them and you can see instantly that she’s a Mum! She is so full of enthusiasm when the children succeed at the experiments and she never bats an eyelid at any mishaps or meltdowns along the way. She is a wonderful lead Professor and Darcey absolutely adores her.
What’s the best thing about Mini Professors?
Mini Professors has enormously widened our conversation with Darcey at Home. Emily doesn’t shy away from using scientific language with the children and then explaining its’ meaning and Darcey is absolutely enthused when talking about the days’ session with us once we are all at home. She is so proud of the things she brings home and talks, with absolute passion about what she’s learned that day. As a teacher, this is something that absolutely delights me.
Darcey’s Daddy has a Physics degree so you can imagine that he is absolutely bursting with pride when she talks about things like the density of water and the role of saliva in the digestive system! These three-year olds don’t mess about with their science!
Is there anything else you can add about the sessions?
I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone give Mini Professors a go with their children. I think it’s a superb environment to introduce behaviours that they need to learn in readiness for starting school and has absolutely instilled a curiosity and desire for learning in Darcey that I think it would be hard to replicate in another situation.
We will be so sad to leave Mini Professors when Darcey starts school in September (I might have to ask Emily to start after school sessions for older children so we still get to experiment!).
To find out more about Mini Professors Bristol East, please visit https://www.miniprofessors.com/bristoleast/.