Our sandbox is a very popular place for children to play. To the common eye it just looks like fun yet so much more is going on. As the children play, many types of learning and skill building are occurring:
Creativity skills: sand offers the children unlimited space in which to imagine and create. With sand as their canvas, builders, artists or inventors take risks and try out new perspectives.
Language skills: the children express their imaginative ideas to each other, which develops their language skills.
Hand-eye co-ordination: the children develop better control over their small muscles as they practice manipulating the sand toys such as funnels, shovels, and trucks.
Large muscle development: the children dig, scoop, carry and pour which develop and strengthen their large muscles.
Social & Emotional: Playing together in the sandbox requires sharing, compromise, negotiation, problem solving and turn-taking. The children work together and solve conflicts as they decide what kind of pretend play to engage in, for how long and what the roles will be.
Math skills: measuring and pouring allow the children to experience and reinforce basic math concepts of more and less, full and empty, heavy and light and counting.
Science skills: sand is the perfect medium for exploring science concepts and scientific thinking. What happens when water is added to sand? What kind of sand is best for building? The children naturally explore and make many scientific discoveries along the way.