Whether at the beach or in a specially dug children’s sand pit, sand play is wonderful for encouraging imagination (both for children & adults!) There is something almost therapeutic about playing in and with sand.
You might like some of the following ideas, which often incorporate sand’s natural partner – water:
- Gather together a collection of old pots, pans, spoons, other kitchen utensils – items like sieves/colanders and funnels are great. Place them in an old picnic basket which can be used to store your sand pit play items & easily moved about using the handle by older toddlers and young children.
- See if you can find some old plumbing pipes and pieces of hose – wonderful for sand & water play. Making waterfalls and pools is a favourite at our place. The pipes cut vertically in half make great ramps for cars too!
- Collected branches with leaves make great trees, shells and stones make lovely decorations, stepping stones etc.
- Have a treasure hunt within your sand play area…hiding shells and other natural ‘treasures’ just below the surface. Children from a very young age enjoy this.
- Use shells to make patterns and pictures. Writing letters and words is great for slightly older children.
- Use sticks, rakes and forks to draw with…try with dry and wet sand.
- Old socks filled with sand (let the child fill or help you fill dependent on age) can make for interesting sand play…stacked, placed in a row, turned into a ‘sand creature’…see what they come up with themselves. Try filling with wet and dry sand for different effects.
- Dig and construct ‘roads’ using play vehicles. Create sand towns using moulds (recycled plastic containers of all shapes & sizes add interest and are obviously cost effective also) or play bricks. Perhaps add a lake.
- Old fashioned dolly pegs make great people to use in conjunction with sand & water play and are a nice alternative to plastic.
- Use an old tea set and have a sand tea party. You’ll need a specially baked mud cake too of course!
Sand and water play can give hours of educational, imaginative fun activities you can do together. Enjoy!!