But I am back. Hopefully not taking huge breaks this time. I love, love, love the sand box. In my classroom, I have done quite a few different things with building sensory skills but unfortunately did not get the time to photograph all of them. Here are some of the things I have used and some I did not get a chance to yet!!
I started off the school year with putting in letters and numbers in the sand box. It is the easiest thing to put in, it's fun and it is also academic. The students love it. Yes, it gets messy. But that is the point in Kindergarten. To get messy. Also, under the sand table, I put a little basket with brushes and pans from the dollar store. The children tidy it up themselves at tidy up time. It's great for self-regulation!
Sand is excellent for adding in other things:
Shovels and Pails. Scoops and Cups. (teaches them to fill and empty and learn about mass, capacity and quantity).
Dinosaurs!!! (Always a hit! Add magnifying glasses)
Sea Shells! (with pails and shovels. Goal can be to find as many sea shells and then count them. Also, can look for patterns. Add some magnifying glasses!!)
Rocks! (with brushes. Great for archeologist-in-the-making students to find fossils!)
Sea creatures (could be the plastic ones or actual rubber toys)
Jewels/Gems!! (Buy these from the dollar store/Michaels. Look for hidden gems! Add brushes/pails/scoops).
Water! (Making the sand wet makes for an excellent way to build castles!)
There are so many other ways teachers use the sand box in their room. Another way to build fine motor skills (small muscles) for better hand control is to put in the alphabet on the wall or beside the sand table/box and have the kids use their fingers to write letters/numbers/words. It works really well for children who have not yet grasped the strength (or learning ability) to hold a pencil well. And most of all, it is FUN! They don't think this is work that they need to finish.
How do you use your sand table? (Please share how you have used sand in the classroom since I will be doing another post about the sensory bin.....which is different from the sand bin! Thanks!)