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Sand Pictures

Let the children use glue to paint pictures or designs on sheets of construction paper. Then have them sprinkle pinches of sand over the glue. Have them wait a few moments before shaking off the excess.

Variation: Color the sand first by mixing it with small amounts of powdered tempera paint. Then pour the sand into shaker containers.

Sand Dough

Add sand to the playdough for a different kind of texture experience. Encourage the children to describe how the playdough feels as they work with it. Playdough can be made by mixing together 2 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 1 cup water, and a few drops of oil or liquid detergent.

What is Sand?

Talk about sand with the children. What is sand? Where does it come from? How is it made? Set out sand, rocks, shells and magnifying glasses. Explain to the children that powerful waves smash rocks and shells into tiny pieces which we call "sand". Then let the children use the magnifying glasses to explore the similarities and differences between the sand, the rocks, and the shells.

Sand Play

Let the children take turns playing in dishpans of sand. Give them different kinds of utensils to experiment with, such as measuring cups, small plastic containers, molds, scoops, sifters, and sand combs. For variety, add water to some of the dishpans. Let the children try using cookie cutters in the wet sand.

Sand Writing

Place a tray of sand in front of the children. With your finger, write an alphabet letter in the sand. Ask the children to identify the letter. When they have done so, smooth out the sand and write another letter. Follow the same procedure for reviewing numbers and shapes. Then let the children take turns writing letters, numbers and shapes in the sand themselves.

At the Beach

Have the children act out the movements as they recite the poem below.

I dig holes in the sand with my fingers.

(Wiggle fingers.)

I dig holes in the sand with my toes.

(Wiggle toes.)

Then I pour some water in the holes --

(Pretend to pour water.)

I wonder where it goes.

(Move hands out to sides, palms up.)

Buried Treasure

Fill a box with sand and hide five small objects in it, such as a shell, a pebble, a crayon, a bead, and a button. Let the children search for the "buried treasure", on or two at a time. When they have found as many of the treasures as they can, ask them to count the objects or to match them to cards with pictures of the hiddden objects drawn on them. Provide a sifter for the children to use when searching for the treasure, if desired.

Variation: Hide plastic letters in the sand. Each time the children find one, have them name words that begin with that letter.

Sandbox Song

Sung to : "Frere Jacques"

Make a sand cake,

Make a castle

In the sand,

In the sand.

Pouring, measuring, digging,

Pouring, measuring, digging

Just feels grand,

Just feels grand.


Sung to : "Frere Jacques"

Sand is gritty,

Sand is gritty,

At the beach,

At the beach.

Sand is many tiny rocks

Broken down from different rocks,

At the beach,

At the beach.

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Visitors since July 4, 1998