Summer Outdoors, Fresh Air, Sand Boxes, Sand Box Toys and Lots of Fun!
A Sand Box and Sand Box Toys - Digging in the sand on a summer day will never loose its magic!
Summer is just around the corner and the kids will, once again, be home on vacation! What better ways to spend their time than to engage them in outdoor physical activities that burn energy, provide fresh air and pure vitamin D sunshine, and provide hours of just plain old fashion fun! What can compare to the fun kids experience when they are engaged in activities that take place in the sand box with their friends and their favorite sand box toys? Summer fun in the good old sand box is as old as the hills and as new as the June flowers. Capture the childhood magic and excitement of each new summer with the fun that never grows old! These great sand box toys provide hours of old fashion fun and summer childhood memories that last for a lifetime.
Our three adult children have blessed us with ten grandchildren. We have a sand box in the back yard and we could not have imagined the fun that was in store for children and adults alike. It became a Friday ritual for our family that not one of us was willing to miss. We all, young and old, found ourselves waiting in anticipation for the fun, food, laughter, and the camaraderie we experienced every Friday afternoon as the screams of child delight filled the summer air in our backyard. At the end of the day, the children were dressed in pajamas before loaded up to head for home. Our children were always happy to announce that, "The kids were asleep before we reached the stop sign at the corner." Talk about fun! It went non-stop and brought back the real carefree dog days of summer for all! As we look forward and prepare for our own (soon to be here) Friday summer water fun, we invite you to prepare for yours!
Recapture the joy and magic of summer for your children as we have. Summer is calling, and one of these magical sand boxes and its toys are just waiting for your kids!
Some frequently asked questions about Sand Boxes and Sand Play
Well one of our great lensmasters; groovyoldlady, asked the following:
"More text - wow me, please! I'd like to see more tips for ways to clean up the sandy mess and for keeping kitties from invading the giant litter box. Tell us too about why/how sand play is good for kiddos"
Ok, groovyoldlady you asked for it, and you shall receive it!
The first issue we will address is how to keep our sand box from becoming a litter box for the cats. This is pretty easy in reality; it is called a sand box cover. Most sand boxes either come with one or provide for one on order. If the sand box doesn't come with one, a simple heavy duty plastic tarp that you can buy in any hardware store along with some bungees to hold it in place works just fine. If the tarp idea doesn't sit well with you, one can always buy some inch plywood sheets, place them on top of the sand box, and weigh them down with a couple bricks or stones. No matter how you do it, you simply need to cover the sand box, and remove it from the animal world's access. I dislike chemicals, so for me that one is not a solution.
Next, the sandy mess is definitely a big part of sand box play. Here are a few modifications to consider. One thing you can do is use an alternative to sand. Substances like rice, oats, wheat, or even beans can serve as a substitute for sand. These can make clean-up easier, but can also present some challenges unique to their nature. In my opinion, the biggest challenge is that kids don't like playing in them as much as good old fashion sand. So here are a couple of strategies that seem to work for me around our house when it comes to the sand box and its mess.
First of all, we have placed our sand box about 100 feet away from the house. Here is the first amazingly simple strategy. The kids just seem to shed most of the sand during their journey from the sand box to the house! Next, consider what clothing the children are wearing when they go out to play in the sand box. During the winter months the bulky layers of clothes are not conducive to shedding excess sand. One might consider other play options for that time of year. Sand boxing definitely lends itself more to warm weather play particularly in the summer time when all that is necessary is a swim suit to play in the sand box, and a swim in the pool afterward to clean up. So here is another simple strategy involving productive play and creative cleanup. Have the wading pool (which is probably still full from yesterday) or the trusty garden hose nearby, and the sand mess becomes a no-care. When their sand play is done you simply "dip" them or "hose" them. Of course, running in and out of the house before this cycle has run its full course is strictly forbidden!
Another successful strategy we employ at our house is to place a soft hand brush by the back door to the house, and we have modeled for our grandchildren how to thoroughly brush themselves off before coming back into the house. We have modeled for the little ones how to empty out pant cuffs, pockets, shake their heads, take off shoes, and brush themselves off from head to toe. It's amazing what a thorough job they do independently! They then line up for inspection, and that is a big part of the fun. If they pass inspection, they get to come into the house. If not, well then we just help them out a little outside before the mess has a chance to make it into the house.
So now that we have completely removed the mess from this very traditional childhood activity, let's give some thought to some negative consequences of transforming this to a squeaky clean activity. Consider this, sometimes learning can be messy! We need balance in everything we do, and sometimes the mess is part of the creative process and can be a beneficial process of trial and error. Sometimes learning looks very, very messy and I bring that observation to you as a teacher, a mother, and a grandmother. Most all of childhood experience and learning revolves around play, imagination, and sensory stimulation. Remove any one of these from their childhood experience, and you remove a vital aspect of healthy child development. Childhood play often looks messy and disorganized. Childhood play, in its most natural uninterrupted form is often the means by which their developing brains are forming new synapse pathways that are critical in the development of higher level thinking and planning skills. Last, but certainly not least, let's not loose sight of a valuable opportunity to teach our children that there are responsibilities involved with all rewarding endeavors even playing in the sand box! This kind of play provides an excellent opportunity to teach our children that clean up is part of the fun, and gives them ownership of that responsibility.
Playing in sand is very educational and important for a young child's development!
WHY? Read on to find out the REST OF THE STORY!
What are the educational benefits of playing with sand for young children?
Sand play helps children develop in four areas: mental, physical, cognitive, and social-emotional. Sand play is not just fun, it provides some of the most extraordinary experiences to be experienced as young children! There are whole books written on this subject, and far too much data to cover here in this short space. So I have added a great selection of books for you to choose from. You can select a topic and you can purchase one to cover a particular aspect of sand play. You can also follow some of the links provided in the RSS feed below for great information on the subject. I will, however, attempt to cover a couple of the high profile reasons, and those topics briefly here.
There are vast amounts of sensory benefits derived by children from having a sand box, and the appropriate sand box toys for children to play with. For starters it is engrained in the most basic nature of a child to experiment, and want to explore their very surroundings using every type of sensory means they have at their disposal. From the time they are born, everything goes into their mouths, doesn't it? As they get older the tactile nature of the touch, the sight of the eyes, the sounds entering the ears, and the smells that stimulate the olfactory center of the brain come more into play as their understanding broadens.
The sand box and its toys can play such a powerful beneficial role in aiding a young child to explore their senses, and develop their curiosity in the some of the most productive ways imaginable. To name just a few we can take a look at the creative and constructive nature of sand play, how it stimulates a child's imagination and how it stimulates their creativity. Children use their own creativity and imagination to make their own personal sand creations all by themselves without any interference from an adult. Children can use the sand toys and tools to make villages, castles, and whole cities with total freedom of thought. Their creations in the end analysis are always perfect in their own little eyes, and therefore serve as great self esteem and confidence builders. Play that is not interfered with by adults allows a child's creative skills to bloom in ways that will forever be the subject of PHD dissertations until the end of time.
Playing in the sand helps a child grow emotionally as well by teaching them the patience involved in making their creations as well as the negotiations necessary when things don't turn out as they wanted them to in the beginning. This builds their confidence, and helps a child learn how to constructively deal with tension, frustration, and confusion. It teaches them how to relax, and have an enjoyable experience which is rewarded by the feeling of their accomplishments. This feeling is caused by the production of the endorphins that the brain needs to feel secure and have a sense of well being. Whenever a child plays and enjoys themselves these critical endorphins are produced.
Playing in the sand allows a child's ability to socialize in a positive way to develop by being placed in an environment whereby the child's play involves sharing, communicating, helping, and cooperating with their friends while they play. They learn to build their ability to resolve the conflicts that will always occur when children play with each other, as well as learn to control their emotions when things go contrary to their own wishes and wants.
Playing in the sand will serve them well in some of the most rudimentary issues of science. For instance they will learn some of the simple concepts of how gravity affects their little towers when the sand dries out by the evaporation of the moisture it contains. They will learn about some basic physics principals when they try to engineer a bridge without the proper support structure or a tunnel that collapses as a result of lack of supports. They will learn about weight, size, volume, and a host of other mathematical measurements that become necessary for their little creation to become complete.
I can go on and on telling you why I am so enthusiastic about sand box play and elucidating its benefits until the earth becomes flat, but let me just sum it up simply by saying this. A young child's entire sensory experience of learning revolves around constructive play. It doesn't get any better than the good old fashion sand box.
Sand and Water Sensory Play
Product Features* Children's Sumer Fun Multi-Use Table: Sand and Water Box Activity Center with 8 Play Toys.* Comes with a variety of accessories to assist imaginative play including a watering can, water wheel, bucket, star and turtle sand moulds, spade and a rake.* Robustly and colourfully designed, and complete with its own cover, the Summer Multiplay Table is an essential piece of equipment for inquiring young minds.* Use as a table or sand/water box (includes cover to transfor it into a table).* This item ships separately and in the original manufacturer's packaging. There will be shipping labels attached to the outside of the package.Product DescriptionOne of the best gift ideas around and functional as well! Children will love this activity center which will entertain them for hours! The Summer Multiplay Table can be filled with both water and sand and comes with a variety of accessories to assist imaginative play including a watering can, water wheel, bucket, star and turtle sand moulds, spade and a rake. Robustly and colourfully designed, and complete with its own cover, the Summer Multiplay Table is an essential piece of equipment for inquiring young minds. One side of the table could be filled with sand, and the other with water. Legs snap in for easy assembly and/or storage. Imported. **** PLEASE NOTE: COLORS OF SAND TOYS MAY VARY SLIGHTLY **** This item ships separately and in the original manufacturer's packaging. There will be shipping labels attached to the outside of the package.
Product Features * Sandstone color and boulder texture look realistic * Cover protects against weather and pets * Cornerstones provide seating * Holds up to 200lbs of sandProduct DescriptionThis versatile sandbox/planter combines outdoor textures and nature's colors to offer a contemporary look in today's neighborhoods. The warm sandstone color and stone boulder textures look realistic and feature four molded-in cornerstones which provide seating. The friendly sunshine lid motif is tastefully inviting, and the lid protects sand from weather and pets. The sandbox holds 200 pounds of sand and comes fully assembled.Product DescriptionThe Naturally Playful Sandbox is an attractive sandbox with a unique design. Featuring outdoor textures and natural colors, this sandbox blends right in to any backyard. Made of sturdy, durable plastic, this sandy play area looks like it's made from real stone, and contains four molded-in "cornerstone" seats. The sunshine-motif lid protects the sand from weather, debris or any backyard critters. Plus, when the kids grow up, parents can even use the Naturally Playful Sandbox as a large planter. Comes fully assembled. Sand and sand toys sold separately. Measures approximately 51" x 37" x 15.5".
Product Features * Includes Sandbox Carry Case and Additional Colored Sand * Includes 4 molds, tool, play mat & Sandbox, * The only sand that plays like dough! Re-usable sand for sculpting and molding which can be used over and over. Build amazing sand castles within the portable sand box! The inflatable sandbox folds up for easy storage and portability. Lightweight, easy to clean up! * Never Dries out! * MOON SAND CASTLE KIT, Never Dries out!Product DescriptionSquish it. Shape it. Mold it. An innovative new phenomenon, Moon Sand molds like dough and never dries out. Once you pull it out of the package, it expands to twice its original size! Use it again and again for endless creative possibilities. It cleans up easily and won't stick or stain. Set includes one pound of Moon Sand for building an amazing Moon Sand Castle. Includes inflatable sandbox (28.5"L x 15.5"W x 2.5"D), carry case, four molds, one tool and one play mat (16"L x 13"W).
Product Features * Yarr, matey! Set sail for pirate-themed sandbox fun * 4 molded seats make it easy and fun to play in * Domed lid protects from debris and rain run-off * Holds up to 300 lbs. of sand * for ages 1 yr. and up * Some Assembly Required * Supports Up to 300 lbs.Product DescriptionThis incredible sandbox sets the stage for playing pirates, discovering buried treasure and setting sail for lots of exciting sand adventures. Four molded seats make it easy and fun to play in, and treasures and a map molded into the bottom of the sandbox let kids dig to find jewels and coins! The domed lid protects the sand from debris, helps rain water run off, and allows for toy storage underneath. Measures approximately 37"L x 48"W x 14"H.
Product Features * Children's Outdoor Activity Table incl. Sand- and Water Box. * Dr Toy's Smart Toys: Product of Excellence, Dr Toy's 10 Best Active Products, Dr Toy's 100 Best Children's Products! * 25"L x 25"W x 17"H. Made of plastic. * This easy-to-assemble table breaks down into small stacking pieces for easy storage. * Includes Scoop, shovel, rake, boat, sifter/sprinkler, 2 funnels, 2 spinning mills, waterfall connector and more.Product DescriptionSand and water fun begins with this uniquely designed sand and water table. Featuring cool colors, separate sand and water compartments, sand and water toys (that can be connected to make your own sand mill, waterfall and more). Play accessories include a scoop, shovel, rake, boat, and sifter/sprinkler, two funnels with on/off valve, two spinning mills and a waterfall connector. This easy-to-assemble table breaks down into small stacking pieces for easy storage. Table has drain plugs to allow for easy draining and includes 2-piece snap tight cover with recessed roadway for vehicle play.
Here we have included some higher end sand boxes.
Product Features* Fun kids sandbox is perfect for backyard play* For 24 people, ages 3 yrs. and up* 100% polyester* Wipe clean with damp cloth* 41Hx35.5Wx35.5D"
Product Features * Sandbox Beach set includes 10 pieces. * See product description for items includedProduct DescriptionEach set contains: 1 bucket, 1 shovel, 1 sand scoop, 1 sand sifter, 1 rake, 1 watering can, 4 sand molds (apple, pear, crab and fish) in assorted colors
Product Features * Sand Set * Jeweled bucket,rqke and shovel * Castle mold * watering can * Recommended Age Range 18+ monthsFrom the Manufacturer5-Piece Princess Sand Set. This pretty pink and purple set is perfect for a royal trip to the beach! Set includes a bucket, castle mold, watering can, shovel and rake.Product DescriptionThis pretty pink and purple set is perfect for a royal trip to the beach! Set includes a bucket, castle mold, watering can, shovel, and rake. Ages 2 and Up By Small World Toys
Product Features * Schylling's Metal Crane has a strong metal working frame * Move the handles and twirling seat to manipulate the crane to pick things up. * Use this fun crane inside with your toys, or out in your sandbox! * Measures 39 1/2" long * Weight should not exceed 75 lbs.From the ManufacturerSchylling's Metal Crane has a strong metal working frame. Move the handles and twirling seat to manipulate the crane to pick things up. Can be use indoors or outdoors. Weight should not exceed 75 lbs. Adult assembly required.Product DescriptionThis digger has a strong metal working frame. Move the handles and twirling seat to manipulate the crane to pick things up from the ground. Assembly required. 39 1/2" tall. ***OVERSIZE/HEAVY ITEM - SHIPPING MAY INCREASE - CUSTOMER APPROVAL WILL BE GOTTEN
Product Features * Sand & Water Toy Set. * Includes a 9" dump truck, watering pot, shovel and rake. * Packed in a net bag with hang tag. * Great for the Beach or the Sandbox. * Assorted colors as pictured.Product DescriptionChildren love to play with sand or water. This Sand & Water Toy Set is great for the sandbox, beach, bathtub, garden, etc. This set includes a 9" dump truck, watering pot, shovel and rake. Packed in a net bag with hang tag. Assorted colors as pictured.
Product Features * Children's 7-Pc Sand & Water Play Set for the Beach or Sandbox! * 7 piece set that can be separated to have fun with water or sand! * His hat is a funnel, his head is a pail, his "arms" are a rake and a shovel, his top is a strainer, his bottom is a larger pail and his feet can make a beautiful butterfly pattern in the sand. * This quality set is Made & Imported from Austria, a high quality toy (not made in China)! Toys are free of PVC. * Measures approximately 12" tall. Made in Austria. For ages 1 and above.Product DescriptionMade & Imported from Austria, a high quality toy (not made in China)! Toys are free of PVC. Unlike other mass-produced toys, this item is still manufactured in Austria Europe. If you like quality, you will love this toy! Children's 7-Pc Sand & Water Play Set for the Beach or Sandbox! 7 piece set that can be separated to have fun with water or sand! His hat is a funnel, his head is a pail, his "arms" are a rake and a shovel, his top is a strainer, his bottom is a larger pail and his feet can make a beautiful butterfly pattern in the sand. It is made out of brightly colored plastic and is PVC free. Measures approximately 12" tall. Made in Austria. For ages 1 and above.
Product Features * 13 Piece Deluxe Sand Playset will keep kids busy at the beach for hours * Includes sand pail with carry handle, water wheel with funnel, watering can * Sand screen with holder, three sand molds, scoop * Shovel, rake and spoon. Great for beach, sandbox, pool or bath tub. * 9-1/4-in x 9-in x 11-3/8-in. For ages 3 and up.
Product Features * Complete Sand & Water Beach Play Set: Includes 2 buckets, sand mill components, spinner wheel, shovel, and rake. * Durable hi-quality plastic make this a great set for the Beach or the Sandbox. * Children can plan to build a sand castle or bury a hidden treasure with this fun play set. * Great and functional gift idea! * Ages 3 & up.Product DescriptionComplete Sand & Water Beach Play Set: Includes 2 buckets, sand mill components, spinner wheel, shovel, and rake. Durable hi-quality plastic make this a great set for the Beach or the Sandbox. Children can plan to build a sand castle or bury a hidden treasure with this fun play set. Great and functional gift idea!
Product Features * Scoop and pour sand or water through this fun funnel * Made of thick, durable plastic to stand up to play and weather * Assorted red and blue * Includes one (1) funnelProduct DescriptionNo sand set is complete without a funnel for pouring fun! Watch the sand sprinkle out in just the right place or pour water through it to make rivers and castles!
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With summer just around the bend, I just can't make these fun lenses for outdoor toys fast enough! So I hope you like what you see, and please feel free to leave a comment.