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Sand- and Water-Table Fun



No one likes having to clean up wet or sandy messes (or both!), but don’t skip out on giving children sand- and water-table experiences. When children use a sand or water table, they can release tension in a nonthreatening environment, build new skills, grow in all areas of development, and gain confidence.

The book Sand and Water Play: Simple, Creative Activities for Young Children by Sherrie West and Amy Cox offers dozens of creative ideas that enhance children’s development by using sand and water tables. These sample activities will let children have a backyard beach party and their own car wash for their trikes!

Backyard Beach Party

Objectives

  • Emotional: Children will act on their own ideas and build self-esteem.
  • Social: Children will cooperate with each other as they follow through with their plans.

Materials

Setting Up the Activity

  1. Set up two sand and water tables outside. In one of the sand and water tables, add sand and seashells. In the other, add water, sea animals, and boats.
  2. Set up a beach umbrella and beach towels nearby.
  3. Give the children beach balls and encourage them to have a beach party.

Spotlight Words

  • Beach
  • Ocean
  • Sand
  • Shade
  • Shore
  • Tide
  • Waves

 

Car Wash

Objectives

  • Intellectual: Children will understand how to exchange money for services.
  • Literacy: Children will attempt to write using letter-like forms as they create “Open” and “Closed” signs for the car wash.
  • Physical: Children will enhance large motor skills as they ride trikes to the car wash.
  • Social: Children will show courtesy and respect towards others.

Materials

  • Water
  • Buckets
  • Soap
  • Scrubbers
  • Rags and towels
  • Spray bottles
  • Trikes
  • Poster board
  • Markers
  • Play money

Setting Up the Activity

  1. Bring the sand and water table outside and fill it with water.
  2. Place the cleaning equipment in the bottom of it.
  3. Help the children make signs and set up the car wash.
  4. Encourage the children to ride their trikes to the car wash and wash them. The children can use play money to pay for a car wash.

Spotlight Words

  • Clean
  • Come again
  • Dirty
  • Money
  • Scrub
  • Service
  • Thank you


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