Sand is simple and, yes, messy! But, it actually has a BIG impact when it comes to preschool learning. Here are 5 New Sand Activity Ideas to develop social, physical, language and cognitive skills.
- Scoop and Fill: Fill a bin with sand and set out a variety of recycled containers and spoons that your children can use to scoop and fill. Include containers with large openings, like a yogurt container, and small openings, like a water bottle. Compare how much sand fits in each container. Which container is heaviest when full? Does it also look the biggest? Build math and reasoning skills.
- Sand Writing: Set out sticks, cookie cutters and paintbrushes to play with in the sand. Add a spray bottle filled with water to squirt on the sand to create a damp writing surface. Encourage children to draw letters, shapes or symbols in the sand with the tools. Build writing and literacy skills.
- Sifting for Treasures: Set out sifters, spoons with slits, or strainers. Mix various small objects in the sand such as dry beans, noodles or small toys. Encourage children to hunt for objects and problem solve how to clean the sand. Build fine motor and problem-solving skills.
- Funnel Fun: Experiment with funnels and predict how quickly the sand will pour through a funnel to fill various containers. Make your own funnels with folded paper or punch a hole in a plastic lid, bottom of an oats container or empty tissue box. Build prediction and logic skills.
- Story Scene Set Up: Put toy people, horses, or other pretend play toys in the sand. Encourage children to explain what they are making and what is happening to the people. Build communication and social skills.
Explore & Play
These ideas and 120 more come from the Discover the Desert thematic study by Mother Goose Time. Teaching children about the desert opens up many new opportunities to explore and play with sand. Beyond the sand lives an amazing ecosystem waiting for your child to uncover. This is precisely why the Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum team developed the all-new Discover the Desert theme!