At our last house we had a wood sandbox complete with an attached blue & white striped umbrella. It was quite the gathering spot for my morning tea with my little man as well as play dates with his friends. Unfortunately the wood didn’t hold up so well and neither did the umbrella in the valley of the sun. Our current home is on a hillside on stilts and rather than a grassy back yard we have two separate large wood decks. We have a beautiful view that my older son’s friend refers to as a “casual forest” and outside of missing the grass and the sandbox we really enjoy our days and evenings on the deck amidst the Eucalyptus trees.
My little guy loves building sand castles, roads, and sand race tracks. He spends the majority of his time during our days at the beach playing in the sand while ignoring the ocean waves and water play that his big brother partakes in. To bring some sand castles and road construction into our daily life I came up with a very simple solution. A tub o’ sand. That’s it. A tub + a bag of sand = FUN.
This perfect solution sits out on the deck off of our family room and serves as my tot’s chosen play place several times throughout each day. Because there is a lid there is no worry that cats, squirrels or anything uninvited will find it’s way into the sand. The cost is just at ten dollars to purchase the tub & sand and most importantly, this tub o’ sand serves as learning and sensory time too. Remove the buckets and trucks, then burry magnet letters off of the refrigerator and you have a place for your child to work on fine motor skills while sifting through the sand (shovels optional). As the letters are uncovered discuss the letter, sounds it makes, and objects that begin with that letter. Do the same with wooden puzzle pieces – shapes, farm animals, numbers, etc. Depending on the age of your child they can guess what is in their hand before pulling it out of the sand and revealing the object. Sand play is a great sensory activity for developing fine motor skills and makes for a fun learning time for little ones.
Here’s to days on the beach with sand between your toes and days on the deck with sand between your fingers!
Note: On rainy days that we stay indoors we fill a tub with colored rice to enjoy sensory play by burying objects in rice – if you put a sheet down first the rice mess is easily collected. Enjoy!