Outdoor playtime plays a huge role in your child's physical and mental development. When your child shows signs of boredom at home, it is time to take a break by spending some time with them outdoors! In general, staying active is the key to keeping a healthy lifestyle, especially outdoor sensory activities which can be a good addition to indoor playtime
The recent spike in Covid-19 cases and the Movement Control Order across the country limit everyone’s movement including the little ones! As a result, many parents are scratching their heads on how to spend time with their children at home and to keep their active ones entertained!
Here is our all-time favorite indoor and outdoor activity:
Play sand and build castles!
Sand is an excellent sensory toy for kids. They explore their sense of touch and play while discovering the wonderful texture of sand! Sand promotes and encourages creative thinking so that it can provide endless fun and learning.
And yes, we can play it indoors too!
What are the benefits of sand play?
- Sand play boosts creativity and imagination
- Sand activities promote sensory development and help develop fine motor skills.
- Sand play promotes physical development which in turn boosts immunity.
- Sand play develops social and language skills
Sand activities can boost creativity
Sand play provides an excellent opportunity for children to engage in unstructured play. Sand can be shaped into castles, dug, dripped, sifted, or buried in a variety of ways, which provides endless opportunities for fun and learning!
Sand activities are great for developing sensory and fine motor skills for growing kids
Sand play helps develop fine motor skills such as those required to use a small shovel, pull a truck, and build a castle or moat. Children engage their proprioceptive sense, or the sense of their body relative to space, by burying themselves in the sand and feeling their body position within the sand.
Sand play promotes physical development which in turn boosts immunity.
Some parents are overprotective of their children. However, research has found that allowing your children to play outdoors and get messy helps to build their immunity, as a result, active kids are less prone to falling sick. So the key is to encourage your child to be physically active to maintain a strong and healthy body!
Sand play develops social and language skills
Your child can develop their social and language skills when playing with sand as they learn how to build sandcastles together with their friends, or by simply sharing their beach toys helps them to develop a sense of belonging! Practice language skills with your kids by drawing and writing some alphabets on the sand and be creative with it!
What and how to play?
Below are some ideas on how you can plan your sand play activities with your child.
1. Dip in deep
The easiest way for your kids to play with the sand is by letting them dip their little hands inside the full bucket of sand to find hidden toys. Fill out a small bucket with some random toys or soft items. Next, bury the toys with sand and make sure the toys are hidden. Let the game begin by letting your kids dip their hands inside the bucket to find the hidden toys. Increase the quantity of sand if required to make the game more challenging for them.
2. Boo the builder
Prepare a floor mat for the game. Ideally, find a spacious indoor or backyard play area to ensure any sand spills can be cleaned easily. Next, fill your buckets with the appropriate textured sand and firmly pat it down. It must be firm enough for the sandcastle to retain its shape. You might want to help your kids with this part. When you're done, carefully flip the bucket over onto your floor mat. Tap the side and top of the bucket to loosen the sand and slowly lift it. You can help your kids to build the sandcastle a few times or let them make it by themselves. Let them be the next Boo the Builder. You can even add on the Cheekaaboo BeachToy play set to make the game more exciting and thrilling for them!
3. Draw the fun
Item needed: minimum of 2kg sand
Skill Developed: Creativity
Just pour out the sand on any surface in your house and let your kids draw anything they like. As simple as that! Let them have their time and give them space to let their creativity flow on arts. It looks simple, but brings significant benefits!
We know that sand play offers tremendous benefits to your child’s physical and mental development! This pandemic has changed many aspects of our lives and we can no longer take outdoor exploration for granted. However, sand play is still considered a fun & safe activity you can still enjoy in the comfort of your backyard. Take these small steps now and don’t let this pandemic halt all of your outdoor fun times that you used to have!