Summer comes in different colors, shapes, sizes, sounds and materials; sand and water are two materials for both fun and learning. Making sand castles is a summer activity that kids can do over and over. Best of all, kids also get to spend time outside and connect to nature.
Making a sand castle is a form of sensory play. The texture of the sand feels different when it is dry or wet, still or pouring. A few bits of sand weigh next to nothing, but a whole bunch of it on a shovel is heavier, and a pailful is heavier still. Kids take in lots of information with their skin, eyes, and ears when playing with sand. Besides the sensory stimulation there are other ways to learn and these help with skills for kindergarten readiness.
- As children build, even if they are not interacting and talking with others there will be self-talk as they plan.
- Along with sand castles, older kids might be creating imaginary ones.
- Kids are also learning some basic science, how sand that’s really dry or really wet can pour and fall, and how damp sand can hold the shape of the container.
- When building, kids get immediate feedback from their actions, helping them learn about cause and effect.
- They are also discovering about more and less, heavy and light, and volume.
- There’s lots of coordination involved and all that activity strengthens muscles.
Making sand castles is multi-generational. This giant sand castle kept many people busy for hours. Sand castles also remind us that no matter how hard we work, some things will not last but that doesn’t make it any less fun.
Sand castles are also works of art, although work is certainly not the right word. While this was a great deal of effort and required lots of patience, the team who created this amazing sand sculpture love what they are doing and don’t think of it as work.
Does your child like to make sand castles? Can your summer include some of these
works plays of art?