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Maria L. - November 8, 2017

Sand Play Benefits and Sandpit Toys Ideas

Soon after man found beach, the sandpit was invented for the cave-kids.

Sand play is multi-beneficial to children for the development of their fine motor skills and sensory play.

It’s messy and fun, which of course is why they like it, so if you have an outdoor space and you’re looking for some inspiring ideas to entertain your kids, a backyard sandpit is a great idea.

If you don’t have a sand pit already, it’s very easy to set up. All you need are some decking boards for the sides, landscape fabric or regular plywood for the bottom, and a whole lot of sand, and your DIY sandbox is ready! This will quickly become one of the most popular play spaces on your property. Let your children play there all day long!

Sand is proving so powerful a beneficial tool, that sandplay therapy is even being applied to adults as a holistic approach to counselling.

While we think of the sandpit as a play spot more for smaller children, older children benefit from imaginary sand play also.

Do you notice when you go to the beach, it makes you very sleepy? Playing with sand can have the same effect. Playing with sand is so relaxing it calms you and can make you and your children sleepy. Win! Win!

Sandpit play can also improve your children's sleep overnight.

We encourage sandpit play for all ages!

One thing that is super important is to make sure that your sandpit is clean! Read our article on how to clean your kids sandpits here.  

Sand Play Benefits For Small Children  

  • Small children discover different textures, and start to form an idea about weight and filling or emptying things.
  • Sandpit play encourages concentration on a task and coordination.  
  • They’ll enjoy learning how to use toys for a purpose (other than throwing them around) and developing their imagination.

Sand Play Benefits For Older Kids

  • Older children benefit greatly from pretend play, where they can act out some of the things they observe in the real world.
  • They can build roads, cook up a storm of pretend meals, and construct sandcastles among winding rivers and waterfalls.
  • They learn to formulate a plan of several tasks and complete them in order to achieve a desired outcome.  
  • Sand writing and drawing is great for perfecting shapes and practicing letter formulation.  

Sandpit Toys And Sand Play Activities  

 If your kids have become a bit bored of the sandpit and playing in the sand with the same old sand toys, it may be time to change things up and develop some activities to spark their interest again.

Toss the boring old bucket and spade for a while and try some different sandbox ideas.

* Sand And Water Mud Kitchen

Use old kitchen utensils, saucepans, muffin tins and funnels, and have your children

cook up a fabulous sandy feast.

* Sandpit Treasure Hunt

Hide some treasure in the sand and around the toys for the kids to find. You could also develop a treasure map. This is a great exercise in pretend play.

* Sandpit Play Themes

Use theme-specific toys like farm animals and tractors for your child to build a sand farm, or dinosaurs to create a prehistoric scene.

* Sand Art

Make sand animals, funny family portraits and sculptures using a spray bottle of water and sand. Let kids come up with their own creative ideas for art activities they can do in their sandbox.

* Sand Gardens

Collect sticks, rocks, leaves and flowers to build a beautiful sand garden.

* Construct A Scene

Build an amazing sand city using various sized containers and tubs, lego people and toy cars, or perhaps reconstruct your own home.

* Coloured Sand

Use various food dyes to make sand with bright colours and fill old jars and glasses with rainbow creations.

It seems we’re never too old to benefit from playing with sand.

To get your little humans outside and interested in sand play again, sometimes you may just need to be a bit more imaginative and come up with some new and exciting sandpit ideas and activities.

Think outside the sandbox so to speak.