Get your scoops, pails, and sifters… and make a break for the sandbox, beach, or backyard. Summer’s almost here! Our sand-based collection of learning activities and toys will help your family have a SANDY, DANDY good time this summer.
Are you READY? Get READY.
Are you SET? Get SET.
All that’s left for you to do is… GO!
Dayna (of Lemon Lime Adventures) offers up 10 fun Sand Activities like making Sand Slime, Sand Painting, Writing with Sand on a Light Table, and more. Get explanations of all the amazing sensory benefits of playing with sand (especially for children with Sensory Processing Disorder) in her full post: 10 Sensational Sand Play Ideas.
Melissa & Doug Blog Ambassador Valerie Deneen (of Inner Child Fun) shows how having your little ones run a Sand Play Bakery helps them with PROBLEM-SOLVING, CREATIVITY, and even “CUSTOMER SERVICE” skills. Remembering or writing down a cupcake order, designing a specialty item, and serving it with MANNERS are all part of the Pretend Play fun. See what “baking” tools Valerie recommends and read more in her full post: Sand Play BAKERY!
In this clever (and delicious!) post, kids prepare real blueberry-banana muffins. While you’re waiting for them to bake — or after you’ve gobbled them down — re-create the same muffin recipe in the sandbox using blue marbles (for blueberries) and yellow gems (for bananas), as well as your mixing bowl and measuring cups. Test children’s MEMORY, practice VOCABULARY, and gauge direction-following and SUMMARIZING skills. Then have the kiddos head indoors to design their own Muffin Recipe Books with step-by-step instructions and illustrations. It’s all in guest blogger Genny Upton’s (In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play) full post: Baking with Kids: 3 Themed Learning Activities.
Instead of just practicing Skipping Rocks at the beach, why not practice Skip Counting, too? Beachcombing is the perfect time to sneak in MATH and SORTING games. Practice READING skills by writing names and small words in the sand and having kids read it before a wave washes it away. Play Tic-Tac-Toe with initials instead of just X’s and O’s for some easy WRITING practice. See what other clever ideas Blog Ambassador Amy Mascott (of TeachMama.com) came up with in her full post: Play (and Learn) at the BEACH!
Rainy day keeping you from the beach? Guest blogger Melissa (of Fireflies and Mud Pies) teaches you how to make your own Sand Fun using sand, baby oil, and flour. The texture of this Sticky Sand creation is therapeutic as kids run their fingers through it, calm themselves down, and dump and scoop in repetitive motions that relax their bodies and minds. Learn how to create, use, and quickly clean up a Sticky Sand Sensory Bin of your own in the full post here.
Guest blogger Rebecca (of A Beautiful Ruckus) shares 7 sensory activities to keep children cool and learning this summer. Watch your little ones become BUDDING SCIENTISTS conducting backyard experiments with funnel toys, sifters, and kid-sized scoops from Melissa & Doug’s Seaside line of sand-and-water toys. Her simple activities & practical advice for quick clean-ups will even get Mom in on the action. See her adorable quadruplets’ squishy, splashy fun at a Sand-and-Water Table in her full post: 7 Easy Sand & Water Activities.
Learn 7 skills you can teach your child through simple sand play. A sandbox can be a treasure trove of educational lessons for little ones. Practice everything from social-emotional skills like turn-taking & compromise to more concrete math and science skills, with minimal prep or planning. See how in the post “Skill Building through Sand Play.”
No matter their skill level, children of all ages can play in the sand together. If your headstrong toddler and your architect big kid have different ideas about how to build a sandcastle, try a new approach: Bring some play figures into the sandbox for a Dino Dig, Moon Landing, or other imaginative event. Soon, they’ll be working together in ways you’d never thought of. See 4 other multi-age outdoor ideas by clicking here.
Need a quick-and-easy Sand Castle coloring page? Try this one. Have kids color the children and water in the picture then spread glue on the sand castle and pour real sand on top to create a 3D authentic sand castle! Download and print a FREE copy of this Sand-Castle Printable Activity Page here.
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We invite you to PLAY & LEARN in the SAND this summer as part of your shared commitment to your kids for Creative Play, Every Day!
And be sure to check out our TOP SUMMER TOYS in the Melissa & Doug “Fun in the Sun” Shop. NOW OPEN!
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