Monday, August 9, 2010

Sand and Water Table Play



Sand/Water Table
Even children who don't ordinarily dig in the sand at the beach will find it fun to measure, sift, and pour the sand from one container to another. When it's filled with water, the basin becomes a doll bathtub or a sink for toy china.
What's Learned through sand an water table play?
A child has a practical math lesson in fractions when she pours a cup full of sand into a two-cup container. It explains the concept faster and more clearly than a detailed discussion or drawing. Her fine-motor skills are also being developed as she washes a tea set or maneuvers a cup full of sand into a sifter. Her eye-hand coordination is helped. Sand and water play can be important for a child’s development. They learn science from pouring and measuring and seeing the consistency of how the water changes. Plus you get so much cooperative play. Sand and water is completely a hands-on experience that is open-ended. You’re only limited by the things you don’t put out. The kids can put toys to fish in, or they can make mountains and islands. They can put rocks in the water and work with density and weight.

As anyone who has sat on a beach knows, sand and water play is soothing. It encourages children to explore and learn about cause and effect. (For example, what happens if I put a sponge in the water? What happens if I then squeeze the sponge?).

There is no right or wrong way to play with sand and water (except to throw it out of the basin), so each child experiences success. If you don't have a table at home think outside the box... use your baby bath, sandpit cover (clam shell lids), small blow up ball from the cheap shop etc Also vary what you put in to your table, don't just think it has to be sand and water. Turn your table into a discovery table by using:
Instead of sand, try one of the following:
Shredded paper
Popcorn
Rice, white or
dyed with food coloring
Cornmeal
Easter grass
Cotton balls, plain or scented with flavoring extracts like peppermint
Potting soil with no chemical additives
Hay or straw
Small pine cones
Salt
Different kinds of pasta

Instead of water, try one of these:
Snow or ice, while children wear mittens or gloves
Mud
Water mixed with mild dish washing liquid to make bubbles
Goop
Flavored gelatin
Shaving

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