- Build forts, moats and castles at the beach. Show your child how to fill a small bucket with sand, jiggle it to remove air pockets, and add water to encourage the sand to be compact. Guide his hands to tip the bucket over and pull the bucket off. Dig a moat and add water.
- Create a Sand Comb, and show your child how to make designs on the beach. For the Sand Comb, simply prepare 4”x 6” rectangles of heavy cardboard. Cut wavy or zig-zag lines on the long-side edges. Use it to make a border and write a message to your child such as “Daddy and Son Fun in the Sun!”
- Dig dinosaur ‘fossils’. Imagine you are archaeologists. Hide some dry pasta in an area for the children to discover. It’ll be even more fun if you can get hold of pasta in dinosaur shapes, otherwise regular pasta would be great too. After digging them up, use them to form the outline of a dinosaur skeleton.
- Draw and write on sand. Ensuring that the area is clean and free from debris, allow your child to draw or write free hand so that he can feel the texture of sand. Give shells, sticks and pebbles to make patterns.
- Make Sand Dough by adding half a cup of sand to a home made batch of plain coloured play dough. Make whatever comes to mind. For added drama, form a camel and let it traverse a “sand dune”.
- Make a “permanent sandcastle”. As crazy as it sounds, you can construct a castle using discarded brown paper boxes and masking tape. When done, paint it with sand mixed in white glue that becomes clear when dry.
- Compare wet and dry sand. Teach your child the properties of sand by letting his finger run through both. Explain how water creates a capillary force between the grains and ‘binds’ the sand. This makes it possible for sand to take the shape of a container. Weigh wet and dry sand to show the difference.
- Look at sand under a magnifying glass to learn that it is made of rock and shells. Compare the differences in texture.
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