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Did you know that there’s an incredibly simple material with 1,001 benefits for your kids that you probably don’t even know about?
That mystery material is sand.
Why do kids love the sandbox at the park? And why can they play for hours at the beach without stopping for a break? Because sand is a wonderful “toy” with many interesting properties.
or starters, sand helps kids develop a sense of texture. It’s unlike the textures they might be more used to, like grass, dirt, wood, or concrete and it feels different on their skin.
Sand play boosts kids’ creativity. They can build so many different things, from castles to cities, and then come up with stories behind their creations. Give them a bucket, a shovel and a rake and let their imaginations run wild. Playing in the sandbox often leads to independent play, which is so important for kids.
If you’re using the sandbox at a park, this is a great opportunity for your child to practice his or her social skills. They can learn how to share their toys with other kids and ask to borrow other kids’ toys, they can play together and they can make new friends.
Playing with toys in the sandbox helps with hand-eye coordination, and if they fill up an entire bucket with sand and they try to move it, they’ll be working on muscle development in their arms. If they’re squatting or carrying that bucket, they’re working the muscles in their legs. And if they’re digging around and playing in the sand, they’re using the muscles in their arms and working on finger muscle control and strength.
Did you know the sandbox can teach them early math concepts, like capacity and volume? This is exactly what happens when they pour sand or water in and out of their containers. They’ll also learn about how many cups it takes to fill a bucket, compare two containers of different sizes willed with sand, and pour sand out of their container only to realize now it has less sand.
The sandbox is also the place to learn early science concepts. As they dig in the sand, they’ll find that there are different layers and the sand changes the deeper they go. The top sand is dry and warm and the sand underneath is cool and moist, similar to the layers of the earth. They’ll also see how water and sand interact with each other.
There are a few things to think about before you pick a backyard sandpit for your child.
First things first, you’ll want to make sure you have a designated space that is big enough to accommodate the sandbox you’d like to buy. In line with this, think about how many kids will be playing in the sandpit. One? Two? Three? Make sure you buy one that’s big enough for all the kids at once.
You’ll want to cover the sandbox when you’re not using it to make sure you don’t have any unwanted guests in there. You might consider looking for a model that comes with its own lid or which looks like it’s easy to cover using other options you have at home.
You want to protect your little one from the harsh Australian sun, so if there is no shade available, perhaps consider a sandpit with a canopy to provide some protection.
Now that you’re ready to bring a slice of the beach to your backyard, keep scrolling to see the best sandpits for kids.