I’m a great believer in any activity that gets kids to use their imaginations and ones that develop their creativity. Sometimes we just need to give them a little push in the right direction and help them along the way to really encourage their minds to think outside the box. Today’s blog is all about the wonderful world of sand play and how with just a few toys thrown into the sandpit, you can create an afternoon of play that is not only fun and exciting but develops imaginative skills too!
Sweet treats, Ice cream and cakes are loved by kids and I’m yet to find any child who doesn’t love unhealthy snacks! Knowing this, why not create An Afternoon Tea Experience either down on the beach or in the sandpit at home. Little ones will adore making a fantastic assortment of tasty sandy snacks. Using any of the sand baking kits from Melissa & Doug, children will very quickly start using their imaginations to create a whole host of yummy sand pies, sand cupcakes and sand cookies for you.
I especially love the Sand Ice cream kit, whereby kids will have hours of fun creating different flavours of ice creams, and our top tip here is to make coloured sand first, by adding coloured powder paint to slightly damp natural sand. Kids will then love creating lots of different flavours of ice creams for you to enjoy ( Mine ‘s strawberries & cream). I only recently discovered this magical sand activity but the coloured sand really does add the finishing touch to sand ice creams, not forgetting that it looks very realistic too! What flavour would you choose? And of course, if you do take a day trip to the beach, you might just be able to grab yourself a real ice cream from the ice cream van too!
But if your little one doesn’t fancy an afternoon creating sweet treats and ice creams, then fear not, what about encouraging them to use their imagination to create a building site in the sand instead. Kids can very easily become construction workers and little budding builders in no time at all. Ditch the traditional buckets and spades for a handful of dump trucks, JCBs and construction vehicles, and let the children create a construction site in the sand pit or on the beach.
I’d recommend the Green Toys Dump trucks here, as they are safe for kids from 12 months and they are eco friendly too! (made from old milk containers, and are doing their bit to save the planet.) The best activity of all time to do with the dump truck is to fill it with sand, transport the sand and then dump it’s load. Kids will spend hours and hours doing this however they can also build roads, dirt tracks, tunnels, hills and bridges out of sand.
Finally, another great way to spark kids’ imaginations, is to create a Jurassic Park dinosaur world in the sand pit. Just by adding a few plastic dino figures, burying some dinosaur bones and fossils, kids, equipped with a handful of excavation tools, will thoroughly enjoy entering the wonderful world of make believe, as they become palaeontologists!
These are just 3 fun ways to encourage kids to use their imaginations whilst playing in the sand, but there’s a whole host of fun activities out there. Please share with us and our readers anything you have tried out with your kids or let us know of any sand toys that you would recommend. We are always on the look out for great toys to add to our collection!