Sand play is crucial in your kids’ early education, as it exposes them to equal hours of fun and learning. Playing in the sand becomes more enjoyable for kids if you provide them with a few things, such as plastic bottles, sieves, cardboard tubes, funnels, and scoops. Letting them play with items usually used for other activities, like small forks, bottle caps, and spoons, can also boost their imagination.
For your kids to enjoy sand play, you don’t have to drive them to the beach, although that’s a great option. You can build a sandbox in the comfort of your home. Other alternatives are purchasing an outdoor kiddies sand pit or taking your kids to the park to play with sand.
If you’re still on the fence about giving your kids a chance to play with the sand, continue reading. This article looks deeper into the benefits they can get from sand play.
- It Enhances Sensory Development
There are many types of sensory play, and sand sensory play is a favourite among kids. The feeling of sand slipping through the hands is irresistible. It’s possibly why kids love grabbing a handful of sand and letting it fall back to the sandbox or the beach. Since they have fun with it, you may as well use sand to develop your kids’ senses.
Sand play strengthens three sensory areas in particular. These include:
- Proprioceptive sense: This helps your kids be more aware of their body parts and their functions. It’s strengthened by activities such as driving a toy truck in the sand because your kids use different parts of their bodies to complete certain actions or movements.
- Vestibular sense: This enables your kids to understand how to balance on surfaces and move their bodies smoothly. For instance, when your kids sit and stand while building a sand castle, they activate their vestibular sense. They learn to balance while holding a shovel or a bucket.
- Tactile sense: This lets your kids detect vibrations and sense temperature, pressure, and touch. Your kids’ sense of touch is developed when they’re exposed to different textures and temperatures. For example, your kids can detect cool sand from the shade and warmer sand from the sun.
Sand play can be messy, but it allows your kids to train their senses. You can even discuss it with them. You can ask them how the sand feels or if they’re at ease with playing in the sand.
- It Develops Social And Language Skills
If your kids prefer playing outdoors, sand play can be a fun way to develop their social skills. The sandbox offers kids the perfect platform to share, work, and communicate with others.
It’s also an excellent opportunity to expand their vocabularies and further advance their language skills. They learn new words, as they try to express themselves. They hone their listening skills when they talk with other kids in the sandbox. Simple conversations, such as asking to borrow a bucket or a toy, are already fruitful.
- It Promotes Creativity and Imagination
Sand play enhances your kids’ creativity and imagination. They tend to be more creative when playing with sand, more so when they add water. This enables them to alter the sand’s texture and develop more complex designs and structures. You should provide your kids with different tools, including sand accessories that help your kids mould various shapes using wet sand.
You can also boost your kids’ imagination by letting them use kitchen utensils. They can learn that spoons and forks can be used not just for eating.
Your kids can enjoy entertaining activities such as creating deep holes in the sand and building bridges, mountains, and sandcastles. They can do almost anything when playing on the sand; they’re only limited by their imagination.
- It Boosts Physical Development
Another benefit is physical development. Playing in the sand, particularly on the beach, involves many physical activities such as scooping, digging, jumping, and running. Thus, sand play can improve your kids’ coordination and strength.
Playing in the sand with beach toys also enhances your kids’ hand–eye coordination. Using logs and rocks increases their sense of balance as well.
You’re lucky if your neighbourhood has a huge sandbox in the park or if you live near the beach. If not, you may want to invest in sand pits, especially if your kids are between two and four years old. This period is crucial in their growth, and sand play is an excellent way for your kids to have fun and further their development.
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