The importance of sand and water play within young children’s life’s is fundamentally important. Both can be explored in a variety of ways. Sand and water play provides children with social and emotional skills, sensory play, hand eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills, cognitive thinking, communication skills, problem-solving skills, numeracy skills, science skills and exploration skills. Both of these activities encourage children to work together in sharing and communication. This is great for group sand and water activities. The child can explore the different textures of both sand and water play. For example, different sand types or ice. Sand and water help the child to manipulate their ideas. Sand and water play provides hours of fun and enables the child to explore the sensory aspect of both. It provides questioning such as ‘ice water makes me feel really cold”. Below is a list of different art and activity ideas for home and practice;
Art and Activities
- Ice sensory tub. This could include items or toys frozen within the water.
- A sand construction area. This could include a tractor, trailer and digger.
- A general sand area with buckets, spades and sand toys.
- Wet sand play. This includes water were the child can explore the depth and feeling of wet sand.
- Pipes or fitting that the child can count how many cups of sand it takes to fill the pipes.
- A water ball pool.
- A water area with a shower hose for the child to explore different areas. This may include a hair salon, bathing the dolls or washing the cars.
- A water area with different types of boats. For example, paper boat, plastic boat or wooden boat. This helps the child determine “will the wooden boat float? and questioning “why they think that”.
- A sand cake mix. This may include sand, water, materials from the garden such as flowers, grass, leaves or mud.
- A beach sand tub. This may include starfish, crabs, shells, seaweed. It may include stones or beads within the water.
- A water tub with different creatures from the sea. For example, fish – salmon etc, dolphin, whale, jellyfish.
- A sand and water safari. This may include safari animals such as lion, elephant, monkeys etc.
- Water tray that includes different drain pipes and buckets. The child can explore timing, and how many.
- Water tray with water and paint or food colouring.
- Exploring if sand floats or sinks.
- Sand pictures.
- Sand cooking. using the sand in the pretend kitchen.
- A water laundry wash. This could include washing the dolls cloths and hanging them up on pegs to dry.
- Sponge wash area. This may include plates and pans from the pretend kitchen or toys.
“Play is the highest expression of human development in childhood, for it alone is the free expression of what is in the child’s soul”