Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Preschool Activities: 6 New Ways to Play in the Sandbox

By: Deborah Pace Rowley
Sand is so much fun to play with, but my kids interest in playing in their sandbox seemed to come in waves. Sometimes they were super interested and were out digging and creating sand creations on a daily basis. Then for no reason whatsoever (actually the reason was usually that one of the girls had seen a BUG in the sandbox!) I couldn't get them to play in the sand for months at a time.

If your child's interest in the sandbox has waned and you are interested in getting back outside and enjoying the beautiful fall weather, try these ideas to think outside the box!

*Bury plastic dinosaurs in the sand and have your child launch an archaeology dig. No madly flinging sand around the box, no siree. Use a large paint brush and big kitchen spoons to gently uncover the fossils where they lie.

*Create your own homemade bones with make and bake clay. Craft bones in three sizes-- large, medium and small. Or cut the bones out of cardboard. Then turn your preschooler loose to uncover one of each size of bone. Can your child guess which size of bone he has uncovered first?

*Send your child on a treasure hunt around the yard that eventually leads to the backyard sandbox where treasure is buried. A few gold coins wrapped in a plastic bag make a great treasure but even a fruit snack will do in a pinch! If pirates had fruit snacks they would have buried them, don't you think!

*Send your child out with supplies to create a sand sculpture worthy of a California beach! Here are a few ideas to get you started.  Sculpt an octopus complete with bottle cap suction cups on his tentacles. Sculpt a mermaid with pasta shell scales. Sculpt a swimmer complete with real swimming goggles or a shark with a fun foam dorsal fin sticking out of the sand.

*Create a massive sand volcano by building the sand up around a full two liter bottle of Diet Coke. When the volcano is complete, watch it erupt by quickly unscrewing the cap and dropping several Mentos candies inside. Yes, this is messy but worth it! And your sandbox will eventually dry.

*Move toys outside that don't usually grace the inside of the sandbox. Would your daughter's Littlest Pet Shop Collection enjoy a day at the beach? How about the Polly Pockets? Could your son build a cool beach house out of Legos for the vacationing guests?

What are your kids favorite things to do in the sandbox? Share your ideas in the comments below.

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1 comment:

  1. My husband made a volcano in the sandbox with our kids while I was visiting a sister in NY- they haven't stopped talking about that great day! You give lots of great suggestions here :) funny thing, my kids were just in the sand box and came in because of a frightening bug! haha


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