Sand Play Ideas with Loose Parts

Add an exciting range of loose parts to the sand box to increase the creative play possibilities and stimulate some open-ended, child directed learning at the same time! 

 One of the most neglected areas of play space can be the humble sand box with a simple bucket and spade and sand moulds often being the only toys included.  But with a few added extra play ingredients it can become the most wonderful setting for imaginative play, building, landscaping, counting, pattern making and story telling!

Here’s a checklist of a few new added extras that we introduced to expand the play possibilities this summer:

large range of buckets, tubs in different sizes:
for filling, emptying, moulding, building, construction, transporting etc

large and small spades and rakes:
for digging, patting, moulding, levelling, scoring, tunnelling, channelling etc

shells and pebbles: 
dfor adding details and decorations, making paths and tracks, counting, sorting, pattern making, creating land art etc

duplo lego blocks:
for building and constructing, pattern making, printing in damp sand, town building, counting, sorting etc

pine cones:
for representing people, fairies and trees in imaginative play, counting, sorting, pattern making, land art etc

fabric flowers, petals and plants:
for decorating sculptures, adding to land art, sorting, making trails, imaginative play additions, making flower pot cupcakes, garden role play etc
water is so often overlooked and very often sand boxes and play tables only offer dry sand. There’s SO much more that a child can accomplish using damp sand rather than dry, from constructing castles to digging water channels and making drip sculptures (as above.)

cars and trees:
for making roadways, parks, cities and other imaginative play-scapes.
Here is a roadway city-scape that we made together using a spade to flatten out the roads and other ingredients to create the scene for the cars to drive through!

Here is a beautiful land art sculpture made by Cakie with shells and flowers!
Other ideas:
toy dinosaurs, insects, wild animals
sticks and twigs
pieces of material
dry powder paint
forks, sieves, colanders
large and small leaves

Have you tried anything else new in the sand table? Feel free to share an idea or a link!

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