Children are fascinated by water and sand. You can keep them occupied for extended periods if they are able to explore these mediums with their sense of touch – with their hands, feet and event, for little ones, their mouths.
Today, more than ever before, we are realising that the skin is the biggest sensory organ in the body and that children literally blossom and grow through positive and constructive touch, from cuddles and hugs to playing with playdough on in a sandpit. All of these things calm a child emotionally and give them a creative outlet to express themselves while exploring the world around them.
Science and maths in the sandpit
Children learn concepts such as heavy and light, wet and dry, rough and smooth, full and empty. They love to pour sand and water exploring gravity.
Children acquire vocabulary such as: “Put it in the bucket”, “Pour it out”, “Put it on top”, and “Dig down deeper,” among others. It provides a completely different form of interaction between children.
Creative and constructive play
Children can use their imaginations in the sandpit. The older they become the more constructive they will be. Suddenly their imaginations will kick in and they start to build forts and castles for soldiers, a racing track for cars or a farmyard for their animals. Some children make fairies out of flowers and create a fantasy garden in the sandpit.
And think about that lovely feeling when you make drippy castles out of runny water and sand on the beach. Let’s face it, being in the sandpit is the closest thing to being on the beach!
If you have space in your garden, do give your child the gift of a sandpit. A covered one is always best to protect it from the elements and from cats. And do buy sandpit sand from your local hardware toy store.
I love these folding bench sandpits from Just for Kids that you can close up after play.