Summertime is not only the most engaging season of the year, but it is also a good occasion for toddlers to make many discoveries and get several benefits from play.
Children get so entertained at the beach, which is their new thrilling set to play in. Sand is a great toy and can provide a lot of good time! But it can also bring countless developmental benefits to infants and toddlers.
Come with us to find out these benefits and make this summer great for family fun and the development of children.
First of all, sand play is an open-ended playtime because sand is an unstructured element that can take many different forms. On the beach, children can arrange sand into different shapes or change its texture by adding water. Thus, offering endless opportunities for inventing how to shape the sand, playing on the beach becomes more and more entertaining and can last for hours.
Coming into contact with sand, kids usually let themselves carried away by the desire to manipulate it without following rules, feeding their imagination and creativity. For this reason, you know how the sand play starts but no clues on how it will end, which promotes and encourages imagination!
Let’s discover how playing with sand favours the growth of kids!
Sand play promotes physical development.
Playing at the beach is exceptional for developing motor skills, discovering the body and strengthening muscles. Children exercise fine motor skills while learning how to hand-hold a shovel. They work out gross motor skills when attempting to lift a bucket or push a truck when carrying sand to build a castle. Almost every movement is significant to the physical development of children when engaging in sand play!
Sand play for sensory development.
Sand is intriguing for little fingers to touch and play. It strengthens three sensory areas.
First of all, tactile development. Grabbing or digging sand allows children to improve the sense of touch. It improves while they experiment with the different sand textures when adding water. Children also discover temperature when they try the difference between warmer sand in the sun and cool sand in the shade.
Another trained sense by playing with sand is the vestibular one. It is the ability to understand how the body moves and balances over surfaces. For example, when kneeling with a shovel in hand, children understand how to move around without toppling over.
Finally, the proprioceptive sense concerns the perception of our body within the space. Or better, the awareness of how every part of our body works in the space. Children engage their proprioceptive sense by walking on an uneven surface without looking down or rolling in the sand. That is also important to build a good social relationship. It allows them to recognize and respect personal spaces and limits.
Sand play strengthens social skills.
It is not a secret that nature or any outdoor play offers some of the best learning opportunities in children’s early years. Through sand and water play, children are encouraged to interact with other children and share or listen to them for cooperating. It supports their empathy learning and helps them to recognize emotions in others. When toddlers share sand toys or dig a hole together, they practise social skills, such as turn-taking, collaboration, and language skills.
Therefore, we all have already understood how important playing with sand is for infants and toddlers. Now it is the moment to decide how to start playing with sand. Here some example of sand plays that you and your little ones can do before they get carried away by imagination.
Children love playing at being archeologists in addition to all love for dinosaurs. So, what about digging sand for finding dinosaur bones? Dig is so fun for children! While they are busy doing it, they are moving lots of muscles and practicing their balance. A little help can simplify the work a bit: a great handy digger, for instance, can bring the dino bones into light easier.
Ice Cream Shop
Sand, sea, and ice cream are the best part of summer. Would you like a cone or a cup?
Children can join the activity of preparing ice cream manipulating sand, and adding the right amount of water to find the suitable texture for making and serving cups at their Ice Cream Shop by the sea.
It’s the cult play of any beach time. But the challenge of this new summer is to build the biggest castle ever. So, your children need basic beach tools to manipulate sand and a bricklayer set to construct the base and the towers. But, first of all, they need to transport a lot of sand, but they cannot do it without a truck. Have you ever seen how much fun is to load, tote and dump sand with a truck for your baby? If not, this year you have to try it!
So, good beach playtime to all families!
BLUE LAGOON GUITAR
Get strumming on this beautiful blue guitar! A cross between a classical guitar and a ukulele, it’s the perfect size for younger children wanting to learn an instrument.
BUSY CITY RAIL SET
Train tracks aren’t just for passenger trains. There’s freight to deliver, too! This complete city-themed rail set features a passenger and a freight train, a station, automatic gates, a bridge and much more!
It’s breakfast time! How do you want your eggs? This egg carton contains six eggs: three hard-boiled eggs and three fried eggs. Shells come off for more realistic play.
SUPER EXPANSION RAIL PACK
Expand your Hape Railway line to the next town over! This variety of straight and curved track will give you the building materials to grow your little train company as your heart desires.
LEARN WITH LIGHTS UKULELE-RED
Begin your musical journey and learn to play your favourite tunes on this brilliant ukulele which features flashing lights that teach you how to play! Includes an instruction sticker and booklet and a handle to make it easy to carry around with you!