Wednesday, July 18, 2012

A mini beach can teach


My son's favorite part about going to the beach is the sand, we've lived near some of the country's most beautiful beaches, sand so white it looks like snow from a distance.  As close as we live to it, we can't always go, so we create the experience of going.  If you don't have a beach near by, or just haven't had the time to wrangle your family and the needed supplies, why not bring the beach to you!  It's as simple as using a box or container, then adding the appropriate items for an impromptu frolic in the sand.



We used moon sand for our mini beach experience.  It allowed us to build and decorate castles without needing water.  If your child is a collector, like mine, you probably have some shells stashed somewhere from a past trip to the beach.  Lay down a towel and grab a sifter, rake, shovel, or spoon to uncover those beloved shells.  Depending on the size of your mini beach, or your preference, cups, buckets, and Tupperware are great molds to experiment with.  Then lather on the sunscreen and dig in!


Shells are perfect for making patterns, imprints, and shapes with.



Sand is an important and classic sensory tool.  It's mold-able properties can teach a child basic science, and math concepts.  My older son has been enamored with sand ever since he was a baby, staring at, and sifting his fingers through it.  He has played for hours at a time, filling, scooping, measuring, and testing the strength and consistency of the sand with water (or in this case, he tested out pressure with the use of his hands in the moon sand).  I connect his love for this play with his earliest experiences of laying and wiggling on sand, so don't forget to include your little ones, babies can enjoy the feel of the sand between their toes too!