Thursday, January 12, 2012

When three little ones are in your care for the day, and it just happens to be a cool, rainy day, one has to pull out all of the stops, when it comes to finding ways to help them entertain themselves.  And, since I like to appeal to their creative side, I am always looking for ways for them to practice creativity.  My sister sent me some ideas from Pinterest that I liked.  The one was a big container partly filled with small rocks.  The child had some small toy excavating equipment in the rocks to drive over the rocks, or lift the rocks, or build whatever he desired with the rocks.  I thought it was a great idea, but I did not have the small rocks. 

My husband had a partially filled bag of white sand from last winter.  I brought in a big, plastic storage container and filled it 1/4 full.  I shared a few ideas of what my grandson could do with the sand, including some faux Christmas greens to use as trees, and some kitchen utencils to use as shovels,  and then left him to play on our family room floor.  I did ask him to please be careful to not spill any of the sand on the floor.  I had no idea how much of a huge hit this would be.  An indoor sandbox all to himself.  For the next two hours he sat by the storage bin and was in his own little world. 

I think this is the only picture that he realized that I took, and that is because I called out his name.  When his sister came, she immediately joined him in the fun.

Together the two of them worked the sand in the bin, letting their imaginations run freely.  I loved sitting at my desk working, and watching their artistic skills coming to fruition.  I must admit, I never expected that this idea would be such a hit.  Soon my granddaughter came to me and asked if she could have her own storage bin, so up to the attic we went, to see if we could find two more empty containers.

Fortunately I did.  I added the same amount of sand to each one.  As you can see here, hers had a slightly different slant to it, as she got her pots and pans for hers.

When the littlest one woke from her nap, she was equally as enthused.  Now the three of them sat on the floor and each entered into their own little worlds of sand design and creation.  I share this with you in case you ever have need of an entertaining project for little ones in your life.  For this worked, and I was given the gift of extra time to get my work done.  When they left, I did vacuum the floor, but I tell you it sure was worth it.  When they come the next time, I will set the bins on a big blanket and then shake out the sand when they are finished playing.  It might make it a bit easier than vacuuming again.  Thanks to my sister for giving me this simple, yet brilliant idea.


Lovella ♥ said...

OH I do need ideas and this one looks so perfect. What a great inside at the beach idea!

lindsey said...

This is a great idea, my background has been in teaching 'early years' and all the best ideas for play come from simple everyday items...the imagination is already 'in built' and the child just requires some added materials to bring it out. Well done Grandma you had better keep those pieces handy for the next visit!

Unknown said...

Judy, this is such a great idea, you are a super fun Grandma! I must admit, I thought it would be messy, but it looks like the bins contained the sand very well. and besides, sand vacuums up quickly.

debi said...

Really a great idea Judy! I can't wait till Khloe is old enough to handle sand....I mean besides trying to eat it :-)
You are a great Grammy role model !

Sassy Granny ... said...

There is a deep reservoir of creativity in your DNA, even if this idea did come via your sister. I would never have thought of it, but you can be sure I've tucked it away as a possible rainy day doing.

One thing my mother used to do, and I now do, is designate a low cupboard or drawer for all things plastic: storage containers, lids, spoons, measuring cups, etc. She let the grands rummage at will, and they spent hours building, stacking & pretending. My own grands have done likewise.

Come to think of it: I'D LIKE TO PLAY AT YOUR HOUSE!


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