Child holding two balls stuck together with magnets

An innovative project supporting play leaders, parents and young children to express their curiosity about the world around them

We originally started working with under 3s in Bulwell Library as part of the Wellcome/Children in Need Curiosity project in 2018 and then developed this work in Bulwell, St Ann's, Hyson Green and Aspley in Spring 2019 thanks to a grant from the Small Steps Big Changes Ideas Fund. 

Tots Time Science is all about encouraging young children's natural curiosity and supporting them in their explorations of the world around them. We use questions to encourage them to use their senses - 'Can you smell it?', 'What does it sound like?', 'What does it feel like?' - and introduce them to simple scientific concepts like light, colours, shapes, lenses and electricity. 


As part of the SSBC funding, we worked with a local illustrator, and one of the mums from the 2019 project, Sarah Mooney, to put together a booklet so others can do Science for Tots at home, at the play centre or at nursery. These booklets are available in Nottingham city libraries or we can send you a copy in the post for a donation.  We have now also made the booklets, and a note for parents and carers, available for free download.

Tots Time Science Booklet-1-1.jpg

Tots Time Science Booklet Download

Tots Time Science At Home Explainer-1-1.

Tots Time Science Explainer Download


We are relaunching this project in 2021 as Curious Tots thanks to continued funding from SSBC. Over five weeks in May and June, we will be working with a small cohort of Nottingham-based parents, carers and people working with under 4s, testing out curiosity-inspiring activities, exploring new ways of developing children's communication through science and sharing community knowledge. The learning from this project will be developed into a new Curious Tots booklet which will be shared with families and people working with children in SSBC wards and across Nottingham.  


As part of the Nottingham Festival of Science and Curiosity 2020, we delivered a CPD session for early years practitioners in collaboration with the Nottingham City Council Early Years team. If you're interested in CPD for Tots Time Science, get in touch with Rick Hall at

Mother holding son with a plastic cup in her hand
Child shining light from torch through glass ball
Child playing with a wooden instrument