Rain or shine it's always a great day to get creative and build a sandcastle! If you’re looking for additional ways to play with your Sandcastle Sensory Kit and sneak in some fun learning with your kids. Have no fear. We’ve got you covered.
I recommend allowing your child to play anyway they wish. Sit back and observe your children at work. You can also narrate what your child is doing for a bit. “I see you are rolling the sand flat." This type of narration with no value statements can be incredibly important for a child’s language development. Some examples of value statements to avoid during this type of narration include: “I like how you…” or “You are doing a good job at…”.
Follow your child’s lead. You will be amazed where their imaginations will take them! Occasionally, your child may be reluctant to get started or you may wish to subtly steer their play, or maybe your child is asking you to play and you need ideas yourself. Below are a few ideas you can use to get you started.
- Read the book The Sandcastle That Lola Built by Megan Maynor
- This book features repetitive text. Engage your child in “reading” the story with you by repeating the text once they have caught on to the pattern.
- The characters in the book have names that describe them in some way. For example, “Frisbee Dude” and “Little Guy.” Ask your child to come up with names for the people in your family that describe them.
- Minnesota Girl is collecting shells to take back home to remind her of the beach. Find Minnesota on a map and ask your child why the girl might need the shells to help her remember. Is there an ocean near Minnesota?
- Use the roller to roll out the sand.
- Build sandcastles using the molds or on your own. What other items do you have at home that could be used as molds?
- Measure your sandcastles using the ruler. Notice the ruler has inches and centimeters. How are they different?
- Guess which shell might be the longest and then measure them to find out.
- Take turns hiding and finding the stones in the sand.
- Create your own beach using the shells and creature molds.
- Sort the molds and shells based on their characteristics - for example, sort the shells by smooth and bumpy or sort the sea creatures by the number of arms/legs they have.
- Use the ruler to measure lots of things in your home! Engage your child in a size comparison of objects, placing them in smallest to largest order.
These Ways to Play are not meant to be an exhaustive list, after all the possibilities are literally endless, but more of a starting point. They also don’t need to be printed and checked off as you go, but certainly can be if that’s what works best for you and your family.
After experimenting with a few of these, I'd love to know which ideas worked best for you!