Playing in the sand is one of the summer traditions that you can enjoy anywhere! Whether you are at the beach, or playing in your own yard, there are so many fun ways that you can turn playing in the sand into a learning experience. My daughter loves playing in the sand, and she has been having fun creating new games to play in her sand table. Some of her favorite activities in the sand box are to build volcanoes using a funnel (she is currently obsessed with volcanoes), and finding her Little People dolls and animals in the sand. She likes when I bury them while she looks away so she can use her tools to dig them up.
My daughter loves the sand, so her wonderful grandparents made her a fun sand table out of PVC pipes and a plastic bin. One of the best parts about this table is how easy it is to store. We can dump out the sand at the end of the year, and take the pieces apart to store in the bin. We can also adjust the height of it as she grows. Open creative play and easy storage? Yes, please! To really utilize the learning possibilities that this table gives us, I decided to reach out to other bloggers to find some fun sand activities that they have used to encourage learning.
Letters & Numbers
Spelling Practice with Kinetic Sandcastles – There’s Just One Mommy created this fun activity to help kids practice spelling words. She uses spelling tiles and kinetic sand to create a sandcastle full of letters. Kids have to search through the castle to find the letters needed to spell their spelling words.
Letter Recognition & Spelling – Mama Smiles uses sand, trays and chopsticks to give her kids practice with spelling, handwriting and find motor skills. This activity is great for all ages because they can practice their individual skills.
Story Inspired Sandbox Play – Books and Giggles uses the new book Little Excavator by the late Anne Dewdney (of Llama Llama fame), to encourage some creative sandbox play. She offers lots of fun activities that you can use to go along with the book.
Mini-Adventure Sandboxes – The Life of Jennifer Dawn uses photo storage boxes, small toys and sand to create mini sandboxes, all with their own unique theme. I can’t wait to create a few of these for my daughter to play with!
Learning about Rivers & Erosion – There’s Just One Mommy used simple sand and water to teach kids about erosion, rivers, dams and ponds. This is an activity that you can do with kids anywhere, so you can turn your next beach day into a learning experience!
Animal Sand Play – Mother Natured used colored sand, cookie cutters and paintbrushes to explore animal shapes. These activities give you an opportunity to talk to kids about different animals and their characteristics, while allowing them be creative.
Sand Science – iGameMom offers different experiments that you can do with kids using sand, magnets, funnels and more. She offers suggestions on questions to ask your kids while playing in the sand too!
Sensory Sandbox – Preschool Toolkit uses pine cones, sand and tools to create a fun sensory box which can be used to develop fine motor skills and language skills. They offer playtime suggestions to get you started too!
Sand Slime – Little Bins for Little Hands put a fun beach twist on the slime phenomenon! By mixing a few simple ingredients, you can create a fun stretchy slime that kids will love to experiment with!
Sandcast Starfish – Crafts by Amanda uses sand, Plaster of Paris and assorted items from nature to create this art project. This would be a fun way for kids to make a memento from their trip to the beach. You could also use this as an opportunity for kids to explore the natural elements found in their own backyard!
There are so many fun ways to use sand to create learning experiences. From art and creative play to language and science, there is a little bit for everyone. What fun games does your family play with sand? Share in the comments!