Are you missing out on typical summer trips to the beach? Are you and your families stuck inside and struggling to find new activity ideas? Kinetic sand is all the rage among preschoolers and young children and can be the perfect, mess-free solution to missing beach outings!
Kinetic sand is a wonderful tool for kids to help develop their dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Kids can rake, scoop, and mold kinetic sand into any shape they want!
Although it is made from non-toxic materials, children and toddlers under age 3 or 4 should always be supervised when playing with kinetic sand. It is not intended for consumption and should stay away from your child’s face. If you’re worried about making a trip to the store or waiting for an online delivery that could take weeks, you could also consider making your own kinetic sand at home using this simple recipe from Eating Richly (www.eatingrichly.com) :
What you’ll need:
- 2 ½ cups fine sand
- 1 ½ cups cornstarch (or flour)
- ½ cup oil
Mix the dry ingredients, add the oil, and mix! You can also add food coloring if you’d prefer colored sand. Store in an airtight container.1. The Hunt For Buried Treasure
Kids love hunting for treasure! Get some kinetic sand, and bury various small items in the sand. You can use letter magnets, building blocks, small figurines, toy trains, pretend coins, and more! Make the activity even more memorable by getting a treasure chest for your child to place all the objects in - or just paint an old shoebox or wipes container gold or brown and design your own treasure chest. You can pick a theme for this activity, such as “Easter egg hunt” or “dinosaur dig” and use items corresponding to a certain theme.
2. Kinetic Sand Mr. Potato Head
Encourage your child’s creativity by designing faces in the kinetic sand using body parts from a Mr. Potato Head toy! This can be a great way to help your child learn the names of different parts of the body. You can also practice using prepositions like “over,” “under,” “above,” and “below” when talking about the placement of objects on the face. Learning how to assemble the different parts of a face can form the necessary foundations for later drawing skills!
A staple during preschool storytimes, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. and John Archambault is a light-hearted story all about the alphabet. Bring the story to life by drawing or printing out a picture of a palm tree, and then burying different letters (magnets, stickers, or cardboard letters) in some kinetic sand. Have your little one find each letter one by one and place it on the tree. For an added measure of fine motor skills practice, older toddlers and preschoolers can use large plastic tweezers or a small shovel to retrieve the letters. Before you know it, all the letters will be climbing up the coconut tree!
4. Cook Up (Pretend) Healthy Meals
What better way to encourage healthy eating than by cooking up some pretend healthy recipes with your child? Kinetic sand can be molded into so many different shapes, so all you need to add are some cooking utensils, and let your imagination soar! You can help your child cook personal pizzas, fruit and vegetable smoothies, granola bars, and anything else that inspires you! During this activity, you can also have your child read pretend (or real) recipes as you “cook” together.
5. Go On An Alphabet Hunt
Print out or write the alphabet on a piece of paper, bury small letter magnets or beads in some kinetic sand, and have your child search for the letters in the sand. Once your child has uncovered a letter, he must match it to the corresponding letter on the paper. This matching game can be a fun alternative to traditional flashcards and puzzles. You can try the activity with both uppercase and lowercase letters, and help your child learn to recognize the difference. Teaching early literacy skills is much easier when the activity is new and fun!
What are the developmental benefits of using kinetic sand?
Kinetic sand is perfect for family fun and learning games! If you’re missing out on going to the beach this summer, try ordering or making some kinetic sand for your kids to enjoy! The possibilities for activities are endless.
Meet Our KeaMommy Contributor: Kaitlyn Torrez
|I’m Kaitlyn Torrez, from the San Francisco Bay Area. I live with my husband and two children, Roman and Logan. I’m a former preschool teacher, currently enjoying being a stay at home mom. I love all things writing, coffee, and chocolate. In my free time, I enjoy reading, blogging, and working out.|