Sand play is a great way to keep your children occupied whilst having them learn and develop key skills. And in this article, we have a host of sand play ideas to keep your little one occupied.
We’ve all been in a position where we desperately need to occupy our children but most tasks they get bored of very quickly.
Well, when you allow your children to play in the sand there are a variety of activities they can do to keep them entertained. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite sand play ideas to entertain your children.
What Is Sand Play?
Sand play has sometimes been referred to as nature’s version of an etch-a-sketch. There are endless possibilities of things for children to create and erase when playing in the sand.
Essentially, sand play is the activity of children playing in an outdoor sandpit or sandy area. During this time, children are able to have an unstructured playtime where they can freely explore their creative ideas.
What Are The Benefits Of Sand Play?
Sand play has many benefits for your children.
The most obvious benefit is helping children improve their creativity as well as giving them a creative outlet. Through sand play, children can build objects, draw in the sand, and create shapes.
This is how they develop their creativity. The sandpit acts as a blank canvas for them.
Another benefit of sand play is it helps children to develop their social skills and vocabulary. They learn to discuss how to share and negotiate with each other in the sandpit. To do this effectively, they learn new words about things they find, create, or even feel.
Developing their motor skills is another great benefit of sand play. They learn to grab hold of the sand and mold it into shapes.
They learn to lift heavy buckets of sand and use their bodies to dig holes in the sand. They also develop hand-eye coordination by putting sand in buckets.
Children get more hands-on experience of the world and math problems when engaging in sand play. They learn to realize the number of sandcastles there are or how many scoops of sand it takes to fill a bucket.
All of this experience helps them become more prepared for learning it at school.
Is Sand Play Safe?
One of the most important things for any parent to consider is the safety of their child. So naturally, you want to know whether it is safe for your child to play in the sand.
On the whole, sand play is safe for children when they are supervised. There are things you can do to make sure they stay safe.
It is important to watch your child during sand play so you can catch whether they accidentally get sand in their mouths, eyes, nose, or ears.
This way, if they do happen to get sand somewhere they shouldn’t you can quickly help them clean up and remove the sand for them.
A lot of parents express concerns about whether the actual sand is safe for their children to play in. So to help you with this, there are a few things you can do to make sure your sandpit stays in a good and safe condition for your children.
The first thing you should do is cover your sandpit when your children are not using it. This stops any animals from spoiling the sand by making it their litter box.
Regardless of keeping the lid on your sandpit, you need to clean it regularly to keep it safe for sand play. Cleaning the sandpit will keep the sand fresh and free from anything that can harm them.
It is also important for you to check the sandpit before you allow your children to play in it.
Something you might not have considered is making sure that your children have suncream on. Sand reflects the light of the sun, which could cause your children to have a sunburn if they are not wearing any sun protection.
The last thing to make sure your sandpit is safe is to drain it and dry it out after putting water in it. Wet sand is a great place for bacteria to grow and for bugs and parasites to breed.
So make sure that the sandpit is dry before you pack it away or change out the wet sand for dry.
Sand Play Ideas
Now that you know how playing in the sand helps benefit your child and how to keep the sandpit safe for your children, here are some amazing sand play ideas.
This is a classic sand play idea for kids. All you have to do is bury some fun objects in the sand and have the children find them.
You can make this even more fun by having a map and small challenges they have to do to get to their treasure.
If you are looking at educational sand play ideas, then this is for you. Sand writing is a great way to help your children explore their vocabulary whilst having a sensory experience.
This helps with their fine motor development as they have to use the muscles in their fingers to make shapes and drawings.
If you want to bring sand indoors and not get it all over your children then sand painting is a fun activity. This helps children develop their creative skills and their fine motor skills.
If you mix the sand with the paint, once it dries your children can play with the texture of their painting in this great sand play idea.
This one is really fun! If you have children that are obsessed with slime you need to mix sand into it.
They have fun playing with the different textures. This is a sensory experience they are unlikely to forget.
Sand Shakers are a great way to have your children play with sand, without all the mess. It also allows them to listen to the sounds and learn how to create their own tune when shaking.
For more fun, they can decorate their shaker.
Sand Beach Scene
If you haven’t got time to go to the beach, then bring the beach to them in this super fun sand play idea. Setting up a simple beach scene with seashells and a bucket and spade will keep your kids entertained.
If it is a hot day, you could even incorporate a paddling pool so they can play with both the water and the sand.
Bury And Jump
There is something so satisfying about burying your feet in the sand. Create a fun game with your child by having them bury their feet and jump to break free. This keeps them active when they play in the sand.
Another fantastic game to play is to challenge your child to build a sandcastle tower. This involves a lot of logical thinking and problem-solving. Plus it is great fun!
Sand play is a great way to encourage your children to have fun outdoors and have them learn whilst they play. It is a fantastic way to get your children away from phones and tablets.
Sand play doesn’t have to be just outdoors, you can bring sand inside by incorporating it into other activities like painting and musical adventures.
Hopefully, we’ve helped you feel confident enough to try some of these sand play ideas on your own children.
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