Monday, 21 September 2015

Sand play

Playing with sand can be therapeutic for children and can provide many learning opportunities.  You don't need to buy a sand pit - try filling an old tyre with sand or even an old washing up bowl or baby bath.

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You can provide a variety of containers, small world toys and mark making items such as sticks and brushes to encourage exploration, imagination and hand- eye coordination, buckets and spades, empty plastic bottles, the list goes on.

Many everyday items can be used as moulds and children can have lots of fun making different shapes and patterns in the sand while building the strength in their hands.

Try hiding objects in the sand that are different colours, shapes or different animals.  

Dry sand and wet sand behave in different ways so children will have different experiences when playing with both.  

Wet sand:

Children enjoy making patterns in damp / wet sand.  They can explore pattern making and mark making with a variety of everyday items as well as their fingers / hands.  You can also add vehicles for making tracks in the sand, pine cones which make great patterns and are free to pick up.  You can also add different sized combs for different effect patterns as well as different sized sticks.  The list goes on...

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Dry sand:

Dry sand on a tray is a great opportunity for children to develop their mark making skills with too.  Children can use their fingers or small brushes or sticks to practice making marks or practicing letters or numbers.

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Sand play is also good for children's social development when more than child is playing.  They also learn about sharing, turn taking and cooperation. 
Be safe!

Sand kept outdoors needs to be kept covered to stop cats using them as litter trays.

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