- small plastic containers and sand molds (yogurt containers, plastic
cups, sand buckets)
- sand table or outdoor sandbox
- water and containers for pouring and holding water
- shovels and plastic spoons
- craft sticks, sticks, rocks, shells, wood scraps, and small wooden
- plastic or wooden vehicles, boats, animals, and people
Objective: Children will
develop creative-thinking, language, social, and fine-motor skills as
they work in small groups and use a variety of materials to construct
with sand and water.
In Advance: Gather the
suggested materials and organize into separate containers.
- During group time, explain to children that they will each have the
opportunity to work with a small group in the sand area. They will create
sand environments using sand, water, and a variety of toys and materials.
- Invite small groups of three or four children to work together in
the sand area and provide them with the suggested materials. Assist
children in mixing water with the sand. Some children may need some
initial assistance to learn how to pack sand into molds to make sand
buildings. Children can fill plastic containers with water, place them
into the sand, and surround them with sand to create swimming pools,
a pond, or an ocean. Children may need one or two days to develop their
- Encourage children to add different materials and toys to their sand
environments. Discuss with them what they are building. Ask open-ended
questions and make suggestions to extend children's ideas.
- When children have finished their sand environments, invite their
classmates to view their work. Encourage children to describe what they
made and how they made it. Photograph each group's sand environment
and invite the group to dictate information about the work. Create a
display documenting the children's work.
Remember: Children's interest in
the project may vary. Some children do not enjoy working with wet sand.
Remember to be flexible and to compliment all the children for their creativity
and ability to work together..
Sand Science: Will Sand freeze? Will wet sand freeze? Will dry
sand freeze? Place a container of each into the freezer and leave it overnight.
Ask children to predict what will happen to the containers of sand. Record
children's predictions. Develop a language experience chart to record
the results of the experiment.
Building a House With Mr. Bumble
by John Wallace
(Candlewick Press, 1997; $7.99)
by Tony Mitton
(Kingfisher Books, 1997; $8.95)
Learning Through Play: Sand, Water, Clay, and Wood*
by Susan A. Miller, Ed. D.
(Scholastic Inc.; $10.95)