Imaginative Play: Sand & Sea

Imaginative and outdoor play are a priority when it comes to facilitating play opportunities for my kids. Combining them together is gold.

We visited the beach a couple of weeks ago and then I created a beach scene for the kids to play with at home. It’s really so easy and cheap to set up and here is how I did it:

Beach play

Materials

Underbed Storage Container (or other plastic container)

Play Sand (you can get bags from Bunnings and places like that)

Small plastic container (that fits inside the underbed storage)

Animal Figurines

Blue Food Colouring (optional)

Imaginative Play: Sand & Sea Animals

Animal figurines - Fraser Coast

Set up

This can be set up on the grass (that way any sand spillage is no big deal) on a patio (where I set mine up; easy to sweep) or other outdoor space.

1. Tip the play sand into the underbed storage container.

2. Put a few drops of blue food colouring into the small container and fill with water. (When only a few drops are used, it’s very diluted and doesn’t tend to stain kids hands). Regular water works well too, but I think it looks fun when it’s blue!

3. Push the sand to one side to make space for the water dish.

4. Add the plastic figurines (a few rocks work well too!)

Imaginative Play: Sand & Sea Animals

Boats are great in the mix. The kids used a Lego boat; milk bottle lid boats or plastic bowl boats are great too!

Imaginative Play - sand and sea

Imaginative Play Scene - sand and sea

play figurines - turtle

I purchased the animal figurines from Mini Zoo.  I thought it worth a quick email to see if I could get a special offer for Be A Fun Mum readers because I love facilitating this type of play and giving back. After 13 years of parenting (and going through many different toys), plastic play figurines are in my top 5 best toys for usefulness, versatility and longevity (through different ages).

I chatted to Jason and he kindly organised 10% off storewide for Be A Fun Mum readers. Mini Zoo have over 5,000 products and every type of plastic play figurines you can imagine!  Free shipping is standard on domestic orders over $50. Just use the code beafunmum at checkout. The coupon code is valid until 3rd October 2014 and may be used an unlimited number of times so feel free to share the code with anyone else who would be interested.  Great Christmas gift idea too! 

minizoo.com.au

More 

Small World Play Ideas

Imaginative Play: Construction Sand Box

I enjoy creating small world play scenes for my kids. They are surprisingly easy to set up (read this handy post by Kate at Picklebums for tips).  Another great thing about this sort of play is you can set it up and it sparks the children’s imagination and I find they tend to play for hours; great for the weekend and holidays.  You can find previous play trays we have done here: Imaginative Play Scenes.

My son loves the sand pit at school, and we don’t have one at home, however, from time to time I’ll buy sand and use it in a large underbed container for play (like this Desert Island Scene). This time, we decided on a construction theme.

Materials Used

Underbed storage container (this is great because it comes with a lid which is handy for storage and keeps the sand clean when the box is not in use)

Play Sand (I used a 10kg bag – it was under $8 at Bunnings)

Rocks

Small vehicles

Construction Play Scene for Kids

Set up

Set up is as simple as dumping the sand into the container, adding a few rocks and the vehicles. Boom!

Construction Play Scene for Kids

Construction Play Scene for Kids

Construction Play Scene for Kids

Construction Play Scene for Kids

Construction Play Scene for Kids

Paver Roads 

We added paver roads to the play too, and you can read more about it here: Imaginative Play – Paver Roads.

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

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Wood Roads

Rock Play Garden

Imaginative Play Scenes

Imaginative Play – Paver Roads

Imaginative Play: Paver Roads

A few years ago, I put together a rock play garden for my son.  I found cheap pavers and we decorated them and used them as a garden border.  I noticed the kids often used the pavers in little backyard games they made up, and I made a note to buy more (they are really cheap!).  

We don’t have room for a sandpit but my son, especially, loves the sand and he often comes home from school with shoes full of it! We created a simple sand play tray (which you can read about here) and extended that by making paver roads. The kids loved it! So fun! So easy too!

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Materials

  • Pavers (I purchased 14)

(you can buy black or white pavers from Bunnings and places like that from about 60 cents each).

  • Paint pen (or for something less permanent, just you chalk and it washes off)

(I used white or if you have white pavers, use black)

Paver roads for play

Drawing the roads

Forming the roads was a simple process of drawing a dotted line through the centre of the pavers. We allocated a few bricks to be corners and did right angle lines to connect (or do double sided bricks: one side with straight lines and the other with corner lines).

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Play

We added a few trucks and rocks. That’s it!

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Imaginative Play - Paver Roads

Pack up

The good thing about the pavers is you can move them wherever you want: on grass, on concrete or as a border to a play garden. This took me 5 minutes to set up and 5 minutes to pack up.  When packing up, I placed the bricks up against the house and the underbed storage container comes with a lid which is handy for keeping the sand clean.

More

Wood Roads

Construction Sand Box

Rock Play Garden

Imaginative Play Scenes

DIY Play Tablecloth

Box City Scene