The Benefits of Sand & Water Play in Early Development | Cubby Care
The Benefits of Sand & Water Play in Early Development

Early development is an important time for physical, social and emotional growth for children. Learning new things happens every day and there are plenty of ways that you can help them learn and grow. One fun way is through sand and water play, which assists development in many different ways, from physical to emotional.

And, as you’d expect, it’s a chance for children to have fun and get messy!

Sand and water play is essentially how it sounds, playing with water and sand, either together or separately, with hands or whole bodies (depending on how large you make the play area).

Here’s a few benefits of sand and water play:

Develops hand-eye coordination

Playing with water and sand will increase fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination through actions like pouring, squirting, scrubbing, stirring and squeezing.

Develops sensory acknowledgement

Water and sand offer different textural and temperature experiences, helping children acknowledge sensory changes and respond to them.

It also allows them to play with different substances and make discoveries about them, ie, dry sand is grainy and wet sand will stick to them.

Develops social skills

Playing in a social setting like at kindy is the perfect environment for children to develop social skills. As children play together with sand and water, it encourages role play and skills like cooperation and sharing.

And as it can release energy, sand and water play can be both invigorating or relaxing and calming for young children.

Develops science and mathematical learning

Watching and playing with sand and water introduces children to simple science and mathematical concepts, like learning terms such as Full, Empty, Half, Less. It also allows them to play with measurement, compare volumes and observe motion.

Not only that but it helps to develop creative thinking, imagination and problem solving.

Important Notes About Sand and Water Play

There are many ways you can play with sand and water at home and at kindy, but there’s a few important notes:

  • Children will need to be monitored at all times, as playing with water, even an inch deep, can be dangerous.
  • The sand and water will need to be contained, like in buckets or tubs.
  • Add toys and tools to the sand and water for children to scoop, swim, mix, pour and squelch to their heart’s content.
  • If playing inside, make sure there is a protective sheet on the floor and a surface that children won’t slip on, because it’s bound to get messy.
  • If playing outside, make sure it’s undercover or that children have proper sun protection.
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