After some recent reading (and thinking about an upcoming winter) I really wanted to put together an indoor sandbox. The thought of 50 pounds of sand in my kitchen and two children with scoops and buckets, was, at first a little intimidating. Nonetheless, I felt that with the right set up and a little planning it just might work.
There are many benefits of sand play, the first being the development of the sense of touch through the texture of the sand. Sand play also develops the arm, wrist, and hand muscles, uses grasping and wrist control. It provides for creativity and imagination and is relaxing for the child. While playing with sand, a child also develops eye-hand coordination, experimentation with volume, weight, and measurement.
We have been using our indoor sandbox about twice a week. Each time we use it, my daughters play for up to an hour and they have really enjoyed it. I began by purchasing a plastic tub and lid. I drilled holes through the top, to allow air flow. We use a large blanket under the tub.
I gathered some cups, scoops, tools, sticks, rocks, etc. and keep them in a small tub.
Before we start I set up everything including the clean up area, which consists of a dish of water and 2 cloths next to the blanket. I have my daughters take off their socks so sand doesn't get tracked all over the house. There is one rule- everything stays in the sandbox. I stay with them the entire time.
When they are finished playing, I brush off their feet and clothes and one at a time, they rinse their hands to clean off the sand, dry them and then go to the bathroom to wash them with soap and water.
After they have washed and are in another room playing, I take the sand tools and dip them in the water and dry them off. They are put into the small tub.
I dump the water outside and shake the blanket off outside as well. I also do a quick sweep.
Everything is put away under our kitchen island.