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Kid Play in the Sand

In: Novels

Submitted By kelly1678
Words 977
Pages 4
hildren have been intrigued by sand for many generations. Sand is a foundational part of the ground in the same way that dirt or clay is, making it available to children for centuries. Before the advent of the toys and electronics of today’s society, children were forced to find creative methods to play with the outdoor materials found all around them, including sand. Children have played in sand by digging, sifting, building, pouring, and exploring throughout time, and they should be encouraged to continue this method of play. Sand is very well-suited to the urge to explore and to the imagination inherent in young children.

Reasons Why Playing in the Sand Is Good for Kids
Like playing with water, playing in sand is soothing and entertaining for children. Even adults can occasionally be caught running their fingers and toes through sand and enjoying its texture. Although sand is naturally found outdoors and can be played with in sandboxes or on beaches, it can also be brought inside for children to play on the floor or on sand tables. No matter the location of the sand play, these are eight reasons why playing in the sand is good for kids:

1. It Is an Open-Ended Medium
Children learn the most when faced with open-ended questions and open-ended tasks, and sand is a medium that is inherently open-ended. No matter the skill or cognitive level of the child, sand is an appropriate play object. Very young or underdeveloped children can simply sit in sand and take in the texture and qualities of the medium while older children with more sophisticated thought processes can use sand for exploration and creativity. Similarly, there is no specific right or wrong way to play with sand. It is appropriate to manipulate or experiment with sand in any way that a child wishes. Children find this concept of never being wrong both comforting and liberating in their play. Sand has a variety of qualities to it that make it even more open-ended. When it is dry, sand is easily poured and sifted through the fingers, allowing children to explore its texture and mutability. However, dry sand can also be compacted and shaped into a variety of images and figures according to the imagination of the child. Children have the ability to manipulate sand into anything that they can imagine. When children add a little water to the sand, the physical qualities of the sand change immensely. Children can then explore this version of sand as well. The few physical limitations of sand encourage children to experiment with this very open-ended medium.

2. It Stretches the Imagination
As children begin to more fully understand the physical properties of sand, they have the opportunity to expand their creativity and imaginations through the designs of a variety of buildings, towns, and castles. Once they realize the malleability of the sand, many children investigate the possibility of constructing whole cities and other areas of play. Provide a variety of common and household objects for children to use in combination with their sand creations. Exchange these objects for new ones frequently, and watch as children adapt their creations and become inspired to construct new ones. Many children find working with sand to be relaxing and non-threatening, allowing these children the freedom to express their imaginations in safety and without consequence.

3. It Promotes Physical Development
Muscle skills in the arms and upper bodies of children will be further developed through sand play. By digging, pouring, sifting, and scooping sand, children use their upper bodies and arms in ways that many of their other toys do not require them to work. Large amounts of sand can become very heavy and difficult to move, thereby creating further exercise and muscle-building opportunities for young children. If the sand becomes wet, it becomes even more difficult to scoop and manipulate, further flexing the young muscles of children playing in the sand. The legs and lower bodies of children get involved from squatting in the sand or from lifting and carrying buckets of sand to other areas. Additionally, hand-eye coordination and small muscle control is improved through small movements as children work with sand accessories such as scoops and small shovels. Most children will not notice the physical involvement of sand play because they are too focused on their play and the task at hand.

4. It Encourages Social Skills
When children play together in a common sandbox or at a sand table, they are often faced with problems involving sharing tools, negotiating for play space, and compromising about what will be built in the sand. Although each child may have a separate play space, many of them will engage in pretend play as they combine to "cook" with the sand or construct roadways, dig tunnels, and build towers for a small city. By working together in a common play space, children learn empathy and how to recognize and understand the perspectives of the other children while working together and sharing sand tools.

5. It Promotes Cognitive Development
Children learn the inherent physical properties of sand by playing with it and by comparing wet and dry sand. They can also learn the theory of the conservation of matter as they pour sand from one container into another and compare the amount of sand that fits in each. While playing in sand, children will learn to problem-solve as they try to figure out how to prevent their towers from continually falling over or their moats from collapsing in on themselves. They will discover cause and effect from learning what happens when water is added to the sand. Finally, children will learn more vocabulary words that fit specifically to sand play as well as from chatting with other children in the sand play area.

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