During their early years, children engage in a variety of sensory activities. It is through these activities that children’s fine motor skills, among many other areas of development, are enhanced. One type of sensory activity that children often enjoy and have fun with is sand play. Through sand play, children explore their sense of touch and discover new textures. Because it is open-ended, sand play can also be very soothing to children. Children can simply enjoy the texture of sand as they run their fingers through it and also have the freedom to make whatever it is they desire. From pouring sand into buckets to building castles and running cars or plastic animals through it, children gain the opportunity to explore their imagination and creativity.
Teachers and parents can encourage children’s involvement in sand play both at school and at home. There are different types of sand that children can play with. One very cool and fun type is homemade Moon Sand (also known as cloud dough). Although there are a variety of ways to make it, moon sand can be made with two simple ingredients: flour and baby oil. By mixing these two ingredients, moon sand not only has a great scent but is also moldable, safe, and fun! Getting children involved in helping make the sand can also be enjoyable for them. Moon sand is an easy activity that parents can do with their children at home and most importantly, it is exciting and lots of fun!
Moon Sand Recipe:
- 8 cups of flour
- 1 cup of baby oil
- If desired, add powder-based colors (i.e. powdered tempera paint or powdered drink mix)
How to make it:
- Pour the flour into a large bowl.
- Add any powder-based color into the flour and mix it.
- Add the baby oil to the flour and mix all the ingredients together.
- When the sand feels soft and moldable, it is ready to be used.
- Store the moon sand in air-tight container and it should last up to a month (add more baby oil if it dries up.)
Children in Room 4 having fun while playing with homemade moon sand:
Author: Adriana Gonzalez, CSULA Child Development Intern