Beach Schooled: Sand Play

We don’t have a lot of sand on the beaches we use for Beach School here in East Kent. But when it appears with the ebbing tide it is always a huge draw for our participants. And rightly so – sand is an absolutely glorious learning material. No preparation required, just get stuck in.

Playing with sand is completely open-ended – the child determines the direction and path of their own play. There is no right way to use it, so sand invites participation, collaboration and provokes the imagination. Sand play promotes physical development – gross muscle skills can develop through digging, pouring, sifting and scooping. Eye-hand coordination and small muscle control can develop as children learn to manipulate the sand with hands or with tools (at Beach School we just use steel kitchen utensils and spades from the our local RNLI shop, nothing expensive or fancy). It can also provide a soothing sensory experience for many, try letting it slowly trickle through your fingers. .

We’re exceptionally lucky to have a setting where our sand play area is completely provided by nature. We celebrate the excavators, architects, engineers and builders it effortlessly creates. But sand play can be incorporated almost anywhere. I have so much gratitude for its limitless potential for learning.

If you are interested in how we learn at Beach School, you can read the whole Beach Schooled series here.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
Sand Play: a small child in a white t shirt and dark shorts crouches on the beach and digs in wet beach sand with their hands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s