Fun Activities: The Magic of Sand Play

There must be something magical about sand play because my boy can’t get enough of it. To say that G2 loves sand play would be an understatement because he lives for it…

Sandplay

He seizes every opportunity for a bit of sand play…

Sandplay 1

Whenever, wherever we are, as long as there is sand to be had…

Sandplay 2

Even the patch of dirt outside his grandparents’ house… So I got him a small bucket of play sand to keep him entertained in the bath tub…

Sandplay Bath

Then Daddy decided to make a sand pit for the boys at their grandparents’ place and took sand play to a whole new level…

Sand play

Ah… Bliss. The boys were in sand play heaven. Now all I need is a banana lounge and a book for myself…

Sand Play is Good for Children

Here are 8 reasons why:

  1. It is an open-ended medium – children learn the most when faced with open-ended questions and open-ended tasks; and it is appropriate no matter the skill or cognitive level of the child.
  2. It stretches the imagination
  3. It promotes physical development – fine and gross motor skills are improved through sand and water play. Hand-eye coordination is refined as children smooth sandcastles and put flags on top of forts.
  4. It encourages social skills – playing with sand and water encourages cooperation, taking turns, sharing of ideas, and communication between children.
  5. It promotes cognitive development – creativity, investigation, and problem solving skills are challenged.
  6. It teaches mathematical concepts
  7. It encourages scientific experiments
  8. It incorporates artistic expression
  9. It provides a sensory experience that helps children with sensory needs

Getting More Out of Your Sand Play

Encourage learning through sand play with the following activities:

  • bury metal treasures and provide magnets
  • set up a rope and pulley system
  • provide plastic bottles with holes of varying sizes
  • provide funnels, ramps and rolling pins
  • provide containers of different sizes and shapes, measuring spoons and cups, balance weighing scales

Playing with Sand is Therapeutic

Sand and water offer tactile experiences that can soothe frustration and upset feelings. Children can act on their own ideas, building self-esteem. Sand play helps children “process, communicate, and create.” It is also used as a form of therapy for adults.

Learning with Sand Play

See also:

Published by Shen-Li

SHEN-LI LEE is the author of “Brainchild: Secrets to Unlocking Your Child’s Potential”. She is also the founder of Figur8.net (a website on parenting, education, child development) and RightBrainChild.com (a website on Right Brain Education, cognitive development, and maximising potentials). In her spare time, she blogs on Forty, Fit & Fed, and Back to Basics.

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