We may have hit the official halfway mark for summer when we celebrated the 4th of July last week, but that just means that we still have half of summer left to enjoy! What better way to enjoy all things summer time than with a trip to the beach?!
While I would love to live near the beach – and around here we can make a day trip to Lake Erie happen – it’s not exactly a place that you can take a field trip to. Child care licensing tends to frown on large bodies of water, so we usually have to bring the beach to us. The perfect place to start is the sand box.
You can turn your own sand box into a beach oasis by adding just a few things. Start with the beach towels. Even if your sand box is on the small side you can still lay beach towels around the perimeter. The children will love to hang out on the beach towels, and this is a great way to make space for more children to be involved in the play even if they don’t fit inside the sandbox.
When planning for sand toys you can be a little more creative. Any container that can be used to build a sand castle is perfect. The children can help gather these, or even bring empty containers from home. In order to make a great sand castle you’ll also have to add water to your sand. This is the perfect excuse for experimentation. Have containers of water available and encourage the children to see how wet their sand needs to be in order to hold their sand castle together – without turning it into a sloppy mess.
Once the children have begun to create sand castles, encourage them to find natural materials on the playground that they can use to decorate their sand castles. You might also consider having sea shells available for them to use on their sand castles.
Sand play is something that is pretty common in preschool, but this is the one time of the year when it feels relevant to the children and their experiences because sand plays such a huge role in summer fun!