Outdoor playtime is essential to kids’ well-being. Anytime the grouchy behaviors show up (in me or the kids) we take a break and play outside. Of course gross motor activities like hopscotch or just playing at the playground are great for getting the wiggles out, but outdoor sensory activities can be a nice balance to learning time indoors.
Exploring shapes sensory activity with sand was a last minute idea that combined my children’s love of getting their hands dirty with my desire to teach my younger ones some basic concepts. We chose some cookie cutters for this fun activity and the kids had fun.
You could use whatever you have at home-play dough toys, cookie cutters, or even straws, cups or plastic food storage containers of different shapes and sizes. We used a combination of cookie cutters and milk caps.
Whatever can be used to stamp into the sand will work!
You are a key participant in this sensory activity with sand. As your children play and explore, you can provide the language and vocabulary to expand what they are learning.
It’s simple. Don’t worry!
I’ll be honest, most of the time when I set activities up, like this one, I think I will get some time to work on outdoor projects. Most of the time I do, but I do need to keep an eye on the kids when sand or water play is involved. They need guidance especially when sand starts to get put (or thrown) in the wrong places…
There are only a few supplies to get started.
Exploring Shapes Sand Sensory Activity
How to play:
Set up the play area by filling the sand table with the play sand ahead of time if possible. If you don’t want to work with sand, you can do this activity with this lavender salt tray idea too.
Dampen the sand if it is really dry. It should be able to hold a shape or form.
Gather the cutters in a small basket or bucket to help keep items together-and encourage an easy clean up when this activity is done.
Show your child the cookie cutters. Stamp one into the sand and name the shape. Offer the cutters to them so they can make shapes in the sand too.
My 4 ½ year old who was doing preschool at home, enjoyed exploring and naming the shapes. She was a great helper to her younger siblings.
My toddlers had a great time with the messy play aspect of the sensory sand. It was a great activity for multiple ages because it was very open-ended.
My preschooler was able to practice patterns. There is so much versatility with this activity for free play and exploration.
Have you thought about doing preschool at home? Check out the curriculum guide for homeschool preschool.
If your children are toddler age, there are even more simple toddler activities for learning at home here.
What is your child’s favorite sensory activity with sand?