The good weather is coming back and it is time to enjoy the parks. We can find a very stimulating element for children in many of them: sand.
Whether it is on the beach, in sandboxes or in ordinary playgrounds, it is an unlimited source of play and fun for children.
There are many benefits to be found, such as:
- Sensory development: The contact with sand allows the development of the sense of smell (wet earth has a very particular smell), the development of touch (different textures and temperatures), the development of hearing (listening to the sound it makes when it falls into the bucket or when using the shovel, etc.) as well as the development of sight (different shapes can be created).
- It boosts creativity and imagination: We can manipulate this material in a thousand different ways and forms, which contributes to the free artistic creation of children.
- It favours attention and concentration: In very nervous children, there is an increase in concentration when playing with sand, as it allows them to get away from the rest of the stimuli around them.
- Learning concepts by contrast, i.e. “full-empty”, “hot-cold”, “wet-dry”, etc.
- It promotes interaction by encouraging communication and language. This type of play favours socialisation, which is so important at this age. We cannot forget that the interaction also takes place with adults. If we share these games with children, as well as creating unforgettable memories, as adults, we become models of behaviour and language, thus enriching the children’s learning ability.
- It helps to connect with nature, by allowing children to change the urban environment for a different one. Manipulating different textures as well as playing in different settings, far from the cork and asphalt playgrounds, is important for their development.
- It encourages symbolic play, by allowing the imitation of different actions of daily life and behavioural roles.
- Stimulation of reading and writing: At older ages, sand becomes a perfect “notebook” on which to practise writing letters.
In short, sand, being a resource that is easy to find as well as favouring the integral development of the youngest children, is one of the materials most chosen by children to play with. Its versatility and easy handling make their imagination fly among buckets, shovels, moulds, etc.
From the school, we strongly recommend playing with this material. At Menagar, we are fortunate to have such a beneficial and fun space for our children.