Friday, 8 March 2013

A Round-Up of Sand Play to Prepare for Beach

When I was a very stressed first-time mom,  I decided I would only be ready to travel with Ladybug Girl when she was a more independent two-year-old so that I would enjoy myself more.    

And then I heard stories of this:

Who wants to pack the entire house of baby stuff, all for nothing?.
(photo from

Lots of babies and toddlers hate the feel of sand.  I remember I also wasn't hot about beaches when I was a kid: I had always thought of sand as looking and feeling dirty.  What a shame.  Now that I know better, sand is one of those wonderful sensorial learning materials to enjoy.

So before Ladybug Girl turned two, her pre-conditioning for the big beach trip began:

1.  Setup a spare inflatable baby pool as a sand 'box'.

Ladybug (Baby) Girl was very curious but didn't want to step on the dry grainy sand

Immersing the sand in water was a better introduction to the feel of sand.
She loved filling up the sand pool with water herself.  Then she'd wade in and eventually sit and play.

2.  Use other creative play with sand to let the sensorial experience be part of the fun.

Scooping Station
Couldn't be easier.

Make Your Own Beach
And bring some toys out to swim.

Over and over again.

Sand painting with colored sand and glue
We also dip cookie cutters in a plate of glue to make a glue pattern, then pour sand over.
Find colored sand in National Bookstore (40+ pesos per color)
You didn't think it would be no-mess did you?
(But it is more organized now as you can see here)

3.  Read books about the beach.  We loved these:

The left one is a picture book with vocabulary words (best for babies to young toddlers).  The right is my favorite and what she ended up liking best.

We bring that book to the beach every year since!

The result was absolute joy at our first beach trip.  And more.

Subic, Boracay, Cebu: I'm happy she likes the beach more than I did when I was her age.

Sand is now a permanent part of our play today.  
Here are some of the fun ways we use sand in play:

Making a mixed-sand volcano

Painting a frozen 'sandcastle'
(Use acrylic paint so it sticks - we didn't)

Playing construction site after reading 'Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site'

Cooking with sand

And lots of other sand play in our new giant sensory tray made from old drawers.

Here's to a great summer of sand and play.

Unfortunately, I'm still packing the house every time we leave.
Or rather, some little person now is.


  1. I looove you blog! Thank you for the inspiration. I find it enriching, enlightening and insightful. I like that you prepare your daughter's play environment, follow her lead (which we oftentimes forget to do as adults) and most of all, allow her to get messy. Children have no choice when they come into this "adult world" and it's refreshing to know that there are moms like you who make a conscious effort to go into their worandroid see things from their point of view. I have to thank my sis Bea (JNJ Bea) for introducing me to your blog! :). Keep it coming!

  2. *worandroid*= " to see things from their point of view."

    1. You're Therese's mom!!:D I feel like I know you and especially your daughter from all of Bea's kuwentos. I've always been jealous of your job, as you can see here! I saw your blog and now I know that love for paper and creativity runs in the family - hahaha. I love the play kitchen you made, and would love to see more!

  3. Yes, proud momma to Therese! And yes, Bea loves paper and is super creative!:D I plan to blog a whole lot now that I’m on work-leave so please stop by some time to check out new posts. ; ) In my book, you are a fab teacher-at-heart! I wish I could click on a "follow" button on your page so that updates will appear automatically on mine. I'm a fan! :)


Feel free to comment, with good intent!