Playing in the sandbox for some kindergarten readiness learning and fun certainly uses hands, so it’s another handy idea. Once kids have learned not to eat the sand, they can also explore digging, scooping, filling and dumping. This definitely appeals to kids because they do it over and over.
There are many kindergarten readiness skills that kids can learn and practice in the sandbox:
Kids are observing how sand pours. It does not keep the shape of the container, but flows out.
They are also discovering about more and less.
There’s lots of coordination involved and all that activity helps develop muscles.
Imagination gets some exercise too as the sandbox becomes roads, a kitchen or castles.
A connection to nature is fostered with sand play.
These are only a few of the ways that sand play promotes children’s development. Do you remember the book All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten? To quote Robert Fulghum: Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile….” Is it handy for you to include some sand play soon for your child?
Last week, I was able to attend the World Forum in Early Care and Education with over 800 delegates from 73 countries around the world. One of this year’s themes was helping children establish and maintain their connection to nature. Many of the presenters spoke of the the ongoing challenge and others highlighted successful programs in the mission to bring nature and children together.
While parks and playgrounds are not untamed wilderness, they are outside and accessible for families and care centers. The sun, grass, dirt and water, from puddles to ponds, appeal to little ones. There is an increased need for supervision but kids benefit from time outside and learn in their own way. Developing a healthy connection to nature is more than just kindergarten readiness. Remember, today’s kids will be making critical decisions that affect our natural world before very long.
Weekends sometimes have more time than weekdays, so if you can, take your child outside to play in the sand, run in the grass, or splash in the puddles, knowing that you are also building readiness for kindergarten and the future. Talk about a sandbox! Doesn’t this extra big one in Prestwick, UK, look like huge fun?
Discovering a real world connection between something that children are learning even before kindergarten and something that happens in the adult world is quite delightful. For me, it’s just further proof that Yes, yes, yes, what kids learn at an early age is tremendously important. Kindergarten readiness skills go far beyond kindergarten.
The latest connection has to do with the sandbox. Apparently, in management terms, when employees are asked to come up with new ideas and suggestions, these are sometimes described as “being in the sandbox” and no one else can criticize them. Just like when kids create something in the sandbox: other kids can’t knock it down and ideas “in the sandbox” can’t be knocked down, either. The social skill of respecting another child’s structures in the sandbox goes all the way up to respecting another adult’s creations in the workplace. Cool. (My thanks for this go to global consultant Mr. R. Foster-Jorgensen of Internal Consultative Skills.)
Next time your child is playing in the sandbox with others, you can use this opportunity to help your little one learn about respecting what others build. Readiness for kindergarten is readiness for much more.
Making sand castles is another sand activity that helps little ones develop readiness for kindergarten. Think of all the planning and organizing that children do as they play and create in the sandbox. There’s lots of experimenting as kids check if something will work. Their results give them immediate feedback and children learn to use that information … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sand Castles→
The theme for yesterday’s teachers’ development day was Imagine. Through songs, stories, music, some new digital resources and presentations from professionals such as Steve Dotto (Dotto Tech) and Alan November (November Learning) we were encouraged to use the power of our imaginations as we guide children into 21st century learning. Teachers and parents of young children get to do … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sand and Imagination→
While working on today’s blog, I couldn’t help but notice Goggle’s pictures of Roger Hargreaves’ Mr. Men books. The librarian at school said the Mr. Men and Little Miss books are very popular and often taken out. They reminded me of another Mr. that fits right in with the theme of using the sandbox for lots … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Mr. Sandman→
Fun in the sandbox helps kids practice important social skills. Sharing, cooperating, negotiating, and waiting are just a few. In the very confined space of the sandbox kids interact with each other, playing and having fun together. There will be issues that need to be resolved and kids will need to learn how to take turns as they give and … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sandbox Activities #5→
In this series of blogposts on readiness for kindergarten that can be encouraged in the sandbox we have so far looked at some early science and math concepts. Fun in the sand box is also great for all kinds of healthy muscle growth and kindergarten readiness physical development. All that digging, filling, scooping, pouring, carrying, … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sandbox Activities #4→
In addition to lots of science learning in the sandbox, think of all the kindergarten readiness math. One understanding that children develop is that of more and less. While this seems pretty obvious to us, it isn’t to kids. They need lots of play time putting sand in a container and adding more. Or seeing that one container … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sandbox Activities #3→
To continue from yesterday’s blogpost on all the learning and creativity that happens as children play in a sandbox, here is another kindergarten readiness activity. When kids play in the sand, besides digging, scooping and pouring they are also measuring. A pail needs lots of scoops to fill it up. It holds more sand than just a scoopful. … Continue reading Readiness for Kindergarten – Sandbox Activities #2→