Children learn through play, and sand is no different. While playing with sand you give children the freedom to explore, create, and ask questions.
You don’t need to go to the beach to explore the sand, you can have your own sandbox at home, go to the park, or just use a bin of sand, which can be used indoors, or out.
Include a variety of props; funnels, cardboard tubes, sifts, plastic bottles, scoops, measuring cups, spoons, bottle caps, and small rakes or forks to increase learning and fun.
Here are some ways children benefit from playing with sand and the skills they can develop and practice:
- Development of fine motor skills
- Hand & eye coordination – watching and doing and coordinating these actions
- Promotes creativity and imagination – using wet sand to mould sand into different shapes and objects, use coloured sand to make patterns, or use a fork, small rake or pencil to draw designs in the sand
- Sensory- development of the sense of touch through feeling and manipulating objects and moulding the sand. Try different types of sand; dry sand, wet sand, moon sand, sand foam, etc.
- Socialization – children love sand so it creates a great gathering place that encourages children to communicate, work together, share, be creative and witness other children being creative
- Language development – playing with sand is a social activity requiring speaking and listening, which helps develop vocabulary
- Overcoming challenges – problem solving