Sand/Water Table Fun
One of my kids favorite things to do with the beach theme is
to put enough
sand in the water table to cover the bottom, add water on top and then
Easter grass (just a little to be the seaweed) and then underwater
animals, but this
past year they extended it to sand on the edge of the water small scraps
of cut up towels
to be the beach towels. They then took the people from the block area and
had them visit
the beach, some of the kids made blocks be radios, some used blocks as
beach chairs too!
plastic dishwashing liquid bottles or plastic bleach bottles
in half. Show your children
how to turn the top halves
of the bottles upside down and use them as funnels in the
table. Save the bottoms of the bottles to use for
building sand castles and sand towers.
four eye hooks into the ceiling above the sand table at the
corner points of a square
shape. Poke four evenly
spaced holes around the rim of a large plastic funnel.
a thin rope to each hole. Tie each rope to one
of the eye hooks. Adjust the ropes so
that the tip of
the funnel is 4 to 6 inches above the sand in the sand
your children fill the funnel with sand and
swing it around to make sand designs.
any of the following sieves for your children to use for
sifting sand at the sand table.
Pie Pans: Use a nail to poke holes in the
of aluminum pie pans. Smooth out any rough edges.
Plastic Containers: Use a nail to poke several holes
in the bottoms of margarine tubs,
yogurt cups, or whipped
topping containers. Vary the size and number of holes
Tennis Ball Containers: Use a nail to punch holes
in the bottoms or sides of empty, plastic tennis ball
several cardboard ice cream buckets. On each bucket,
poke two holes opposite
each other near the top.
Tie a piece of rope or thick yarn to the holes to make a
Cover the containers with colorful self stick
paper. Use the sand pails to hold props for
table. If desired, label each pail with the names of
the items stored inside.
rectangles out of heavy cardboard. One one side of
each piece of cardboard,
cut a set of notches. Vary
the kinds of notches made on each piece.
children use the cardboard rectangles to "comb"
patterns in the sand.
the children how to drag the sand comb across the
surface of the sand to make interesting patterns and designs.
child hide his eyes or turn his back. Use one of the
sand combs to make a design. Then have the child look at the
pattern and guess which of several different sand combs made
the pattern. Then have him test his guess.
Have the child search for other things that make a pattern
are dragged across the surface of the sand-feathers, forks, a
comb, sticks, a rake or a broom.
Encourage the child to make different pictures and designs,
turning the surfaces and moving his arm in different ways.
What They Can Learn
One to one correspondence. The child sees the relationship
the design or pattern in the sand and the cut shapes in the
several spray bottles with water. Let your children
on the sand as desired to make the sand damp and
easy to mold.
To dry the sand, leave the cover off the
sand table for a few days.
an old athletic sock with 1 1/2 cups of sand. Tie the
top of the sock into
a knot or tie a piece of twine around
the top. Let the children drag the
sock in the sand to
make ditches and designs.
and dry out an empty Parmesan Cheese container. Let
your children use it to
experiment with the concepts more
and less by rotating the top for different pouring
tin cans of all sizes. Smooth out any roughness around
the edges of the cans.
Show your children how to fill
a can with damp sand, pat the sand until it is firm,
the can upside down and slip it off to make a sand
tower. Ask them to try
to stack a small tower on top
of a big tower. Can they stack a big on a small
How many towers can they stack on top of each
other before they all fall down?
Sandy, Bubbly Fingerpainting
Mix a small amount of play
sand with different colors of fingerpaint.
invite each child to use the mixture to fingerpaint
directly on a sheet
of bubble wrap. Be sure to have
plenty of bubble wrap and paint on hand.
Feet Only Digging
arrangements to move your sand table to floor level for a
Make this time for feet only
digging. Have your children take off their shoes
socks. Then let them dig, design and build with their
small ball of play dough in a baggie with various shaped
(sea stars & sea horses are especially exciting!) for each child. Allow
exploration of imprinting their shells onto the play dough to take place.
Lots of vocabulary words can be built on during the activity,
as well as spatial relations explored.
~ or ~
brown play dough and add sand to it for texture.
Large Sand Tables
up any of the following sand tables for sand play by two or
three children at a time.
Bathtub: Find an old bathtub that is no longer being
Place it in a corner of the room and fill it
with wet sand or dry sand.
Inflatable Wading Pool: Set up an inflatable
and put several inches of wet sand or dry sand
in the bottom of it.
Plastic Wading Pool: Recycle an old, plastic
wading pool that can no longer hold
cracks or holes with duct tape. Fill the pool with wet
or dry sand.
any of the following sand tables for your children to play
in one at a time.
Cardboard Box: Cut down the sides of a sturdy
cardboard box so
that they are about 5 inches high.
Fill the box half full with dry sand.
Dishpan: Pour several inches of wet sand or dry sand
in an old dishpan.
Infant Plastic Bathtub: Use an infants old
bathtub and pour in several inches of wet or dry
Sculpture by Hand
your children how to use their hands like funnels to make
columns of sand.
Let them experiment with creating all
different kinds and sizes of columns together
sculptures, castles or buildings. Place a wooden board
across the sand table to make a solid base for
building sand castles.
They love digging a hole and filling it with water and
having a mud bog they call it, or getting out the boats.
Footprints In The Sand
Many times birds and other animals walk around the night
They love checking out the foot prints and seeing where they
They like to figure out who made the foot prints from who's
sandals or shoes too.
Build Sand Castles
Get a tall, narrow, unbreakable container,
like a plastic glass,
hollow block, or pitcher. Fill the container with sand, pack it down
and dump it over in the sand to form a castle. Do this over and over
again. The children love to come along and slowly smash the castles
Sand and Shell Play
Set out a tub of dry sand. Select several
distinctive-looking shells and bury
them in the tub. Then invite your children to search for them.
Add water to the sand in a plastic tub. Let your children make
or patterns in the damp sand by pressing on different kinds of
Creative Sand Play
a large container with props from the following
list. Place the container
next to the sand table and
let your children choose items from the
container as desired
for creative sand play.
Convertible Sand Table
Convert your classroom sand
table for other creative uses. By simply placing
sheet on top of the sand, you can fill your sand table
with another interesting
material such as rice, beans,
popcorn kernals, or cereal. Using this method,
sand is undisturbed and the children will love the
small wading pool, put in a small layer of sand. Mix in some
hide some in the sand and have others showing. Add some water and some
fake fish and you have a mini beach, and the kids can even look for
Beach Sensory Bottle
empty clear water/soda bottles with lids,
sand, water, small seashells, small ocean creatures
(I used sea theme beads purchased from
tiny pebbles, , glue gun and glue sticks, funnel, scoops
Invite the children to place a funnel into their clear bottle and take
a scoop of sand
and pour it into the bottle. Have them add some small shells, small ocean
and tiny pebbles, then add just enough water to dampen the sand. Then the
or childcare provider can hot glue the lid onto the clear bottle. Have the
"I Spy With My Little Eye" once they have completed their sensory bottle.
Beach In A Bag
We put sand
in the bottom of a ziploc bag, added some shells then added
shaving cream and blue food coloring i taped the bags closed and let the
swish around the cream to add the color, now we had a beach in a bag.
Starfish/Sea Shell Lacing Cards
lacing cards out of clip art of a star fish and sea shells.
scrap pieces of wood and sand paper in
your block area for the children to work with.
Sensory...wet sand and molds - Sand and sea shells -
Blue water with fish and sea shells or use floaties.
Get a small
bucket (or sensory table) and fill it partially with water, fill the
bucket with seaweed or other sea vegetation. Hide small treasures on
the bottom of the bucket and let your children search for these items.
Beach Ball Puzzles
wallpaper to poster board and cut out large circles. Cut each circle into
puzzle pieces. Base the number of pieces on the developmental level
of your child.
Sand Tower Toy
your children to mix sand and water to make wet sand. Give him/her
a set of plastic stacking cups - the kind sold in toy stores for young
or use a set of empty containers that fit one inside the other. Help the
to fill each cup to the top with wet sand and pack it down hard.
him/her to experiment with tower building by unmolding the largest cup
the next largest cup second, and so forth, down to the smallest cup.
many cups of sand can he/she stack? Ask what happens if he/she
starts with the smallest cup of sand? With dry sand?