It’s no secret that young children love to play in the sand! In our Little Acres program, we are constantly digging, constructing and creating in the sand box. From building castles, to swimming pools, to rivers, to water filtration devices; It’s a joy to see their imaginations running wild as they kick their shoes off in the sand!
A few benefits of young children playing in the sandbox:
- Using their hands to explore. Many experts agree that use of the hands is the primary way young kids learn about their surroundings. They need to touch, mold, and deconstruct; sand is perfect for that.
- Dig into imaginary play. During sandbox play, kids can become completely absorbed in their imagined mini-worlds.
- Strengthen finger and hand muscles which are precursors for handwriting, many sports and self-sufficiency tasks like buttoning clothes and tying shoes.
- Add to their sensory vocabulary Sand can feel like so many adjectives: rough, smooth, bumpy, squishy, runny, dry and more.
- Practice social skills. It’s easy to accidentally obliterate another kid’s work in the sandbox, so children learn to take care and share small spaces. They also learn that it’s important to keep digging tools and sand low in the box so it doesn’t hurt other little faces.
- Collaborate. Watch four or five kids working on a massive road-building project in a sandbox and you’ll witness some amazing brainstorming, collaboration and negotiation.
- Experience impermanence. Nothing is set in sand. Castles fall over. It rains. In life, everything changes eventually, so kids can learn to enjoy things for the moment and create something amazingly different and just as awesome next time.
We have attached a short article on sand play for a little reading before bedtime!
Thanks for reading!
Julie and Elliot