Kids in a Sandbox: Summertime Meditation for Preschoolers and Sand Art

My kids love playing in the sand. My husband built a large, built-in sandbox at our last house, but ever since we’ve moved, the kids have had to get their sand fix at the Lake Erie beaches or at the zoo’s playground. Unwilling to build another sand trap in our small backyard, this was going to have to do.

Then I ran across a fantastic way to solve the kid’s sandbox issue.

Family Fun magazine had a suggestion sent in from one of their readers that changed our situation. It also gave us a great idea for creating homemade Christmas gifts. This ingenious tip simply included one trip to the local home improvement store and only a few minutes of set up.

How to Make a Portable Sandbox

Purchase a plastic storage container with wheels. The kind used for under the bed storage works perfectly. Look for a quality item with a nice fitting lid. Grab a couple bags of play sand and go home to set it up.

Fill the storage container with play sand. Toss in a few toys and that’s that. Your sand box is portable; I love how it can just roll under the work table in the garage. The lid protects it from visits from neighborhood cats, rain and leaves. If you pull these out in the driveway to play, the excess sand easily washes away with a squirt from the hose, (go ahead and squirt the kids down while you are at it!)

For my family, I put together 2 sandboxes to cut down on territorial arguments. Bags of sand toys can be picked up for a dollar at the discount stores and provide a relaxing way to spend an afternoon. Sifting, pouring, building sand play can be considered preschool meditation.

Kids Sandbox Art

Sand casting. Portable sandboxes are perfect for making sand castings. Add a little water to make the sand easy to mold. Mark out a work area by pressing a pie plate into the sand and removing. This will give you a circular area to work within. Now press stones, shells, sticks, marbles, beach glass or other items into the sand. Create a pattern or just add randomly.

Mix plaster of Paris in a coffee can. Follow the manufacturer’s directions. Work quickly, Plaster of Paris sets up fast. Once it is thick like cream, pour 2 inches of Plaster of Paris into the mold. Add a paper clip to the back so that you can hang it on the wall when complete if desired.

Let the plaster set for 30 minutes to an hour. Gently lift off and brush the excess sand off the top. Try this project with hands and feet, make fossils of your dogs paw and have the kids start working on homemade Christmas gifts for their teachers. Paper weights for everyone!

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