We absolutely love the sensory appeal of sand play but it doesn't need to just stay in the sandpit!
I particularly wanted to try this one with Ruby as she is very wary of both glue and also wet sand. This challenged her sensory texture and touch aversions but she did enjoy it as long as she could wash her hands at regular intervals and go back and forth to the activity as though she needed to process what she was feeling and experiencing each time. I always ensure I have water and cloths close by for those children that need to wash their hands regularly to feel confident with the activity.
When the colour was mixed through the sand tubs I added a shallow container of watered down wood glue, a few different sized brushes and some cardboard offcuts also of various sizes.
There really are no rules to this activity… I just sat back and watched them get creative in their own ways….they challenged their fine motor skills as they used the sticks to spread the glue as well as mix the sand and even to carry the sand to the cardboard! You will find that it is a fantastic activity for a multi-age group and easily modified when you are having fun with school age children too.
Shaking the sand off onto the ground provided a whole new way to play! It was also lots of fun to make patterns and roads in the sand containers……
The colours take on such a stunning quality when mixed with the sand and when dry the pictures provide a whole different sensory experience to explore.
They will go rock hard if left in the sun for a day and the children love to explore them every now and then with their fingers as they walk past their masterpieces which I have displayed on our wall for all to see. Take photos though as eventually the sand and glue will dampen the cardboard and they become heavy and break apart. They last for awhile though!
Miss Teen really enjoyed mixing her colours and creating patterns by layering the sand and glue…
We left the masterpieces to dry for the rest of the day in the sun before coming back to marvel at the rough texture and the sand not falling off the cardboard and wood anymore!
It really is a favourite activity of mine and one I have shared in every toddler room I have worked in over the years! As a bonus it kept them all busy for a whole morning of colourful sensory exploration… each working in their own little creative zone.
I do recommend that this is one best done outside though as they need to be able to shake off the excess sand and have the freedom to make a mess without you stressing about the sand and colour on the floor! (And trust me….you never seem to be able to sweep up every bit of sand…have you noticed that?)
It's a great way to have a little extra fun with the sandpit and explore colour, texture and the process of creation rather than thinking about the end product. I hope you give it a try….if you completely dry out the leftover sand you can also use it again another day!
A Little About Me
Jodie Clarke is an early childhood professional supporting educators who want and need to stay passionate about the work they do! She has 30 years hands-on experience in the early childhood and human services sectors across many different roles.
Jodie is mum to 3 in Australia and has already helped thousands of educators with their work through her popular blog posts, activity ideas, online training and e-books.