Water and sand play are exciting sensory activities that will engage children of any age…and what better place to play with water and sand than at the beach!
The hot summer weather opens up so many opportunities for play-based learning. If you’re planning to take your family to the beach this year, you can incorporate some simple activates that will encourage learning and exploration.
One of the easiest, and more memorable experiences you can create at the beach is building a sand castle. You’ll have a blast with this classic activity, but the benefits far surpass excitement and fun!
Sensory Fun. I love sensory activities - they are easy to incorporate in most activities, but when you are playing with sand and water, it becomes even easier! No matter the age of your children, there are many opportunities to learn during sand castle building. Learning everything from cause and effect, to texture, scooping and sorting, is possible when building a sand castle. Your children can start off by exploring and building with their hands, and then you can add in tools and buckets to help their creativity flourish.
Fine and Gross Motor Skills. Shovelling, building, and even just walking through the sand have major benefits. They all improve gross motor skills. Combined with fine motor skill activities like filtering sand through fingers, sifting, patting and measuring, your child will build their physical development skills in a fun and exciting way.
Like Skills. Building a sand castle will allow your family to work together to create something unique. Cooperation, team work, creativity and communication are skills required to complete your very own castle.
Measurement Skills. Filling up a bucket of water and then dumping it out is super fun for a toddler, but it can actually help teach some basic measurement skills. Basic understandings of depth, volume, weight and measurement can be easily explained when your building your own castle, or even just playing in the sand and water.
Next time your at the beach, keep these skills in mind. You’ll be able to support the play-based learning that goes along with exploring sand and water. And don’t forget to help your kids find a new stick, stone or seashell to decorate their sand castle. This can turn into your own exploration of nature, or even a pre-planned scavenger hunt.
About Discovery Child Care
Barrie Based Discovery Child Care brings nature into the classroom and takes the classroom into nature, offering an environmentally aware foundation of early learning for children, from infants to school-age. We follow an Emergent Curriculum philosophy which means, your child will be provided with hands-on, play-based learning opportunities that will encourage active exploration, autonomy, choice, problem solving and plain old fun! Your child’s individual interests, abilities and needs will be considered when planning our indoor and outdoor programs. For more information, visit http://www.discoverychild.on.ca