Project #9: Rainy Day Indoor Activities for Kids
Indoor Table Sandpit
Time: If you can stand a bit of sand on the floor, children may play there all day long!
Difficulty: Child’s play!
“Nature crafts” don’t have to be complicated. In fact, this one is as easy as finding the biggest container you have, filling it with beach sand, and adding (or encouraging the children to add) some play props- natural things like seedpods, sticks and leaves, and bits and pieces of other stuff you love. I used my big round tupperware dish but I think even bigger would be better. Perhaps something recycled from a local op shop- a glass pyrex dish or aluminium kitchenware? I’m thinking huge clean dustbin lid (with a flat bottom), or some kind of planter dish that goes underneath a big plant pot might work too. But you might think of something even better? Let me know.
Ned only goes to preschool on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays so we are often looking for fun things for him to do on Mondays and Tuesdays when all the neighbourhood children are away for the day. He is ok on sunny days, as he has a cubby, a trampoline, his bike to ride, and a big outdoor sandpit to play in. But on rainy days when he has been cooped up for a while, it is great to have something other than his everyday toys. (Of course, he loves these too, but a bit of ‘out-of-the-blue’ can be fabulous fun too.)
There is something about making a sandpit in a small container too, and popping it at eye level. It is different to whole-body sandpit play with big trucks, and digging, and scooping. Tabletop sandpits demand teeny-tiny toy props- there just isn’t enough space for anything else. So Ned had to be a little strategic in his thinking when he was finding things to play with. And having the sandpit at eye level definitely provides a platform for oral storytelling. When we first set it up, Ned must have spent at least 20 minutes talking to himself, telling the story of what he was doing out loud. It was fascinating to watch!
You can make little props too. Can you see the miniature versions of wool fleece trees I popped in? They became the forest border at Ned’s truck workshop.
A word to the wise. I have slate floors in my dining room so any dry sand that fell to the floor (inevitable really!) was easily vacuumed up at the end of the day. But a tarp or flat sheet on the floor underneath the sandpit might be a helpful idea too. Just pick it up and funnel the sand back into the tabletop sandpit for next play.
What would you use in your child’s tabletop sandpit?
Leave a comment to let me know!
To see all 30 Nature Crafts, visit here.