My six-year-old kindergartener had a fantastic idea. (shocker) “Mom! Let’s put the bears in kinetic sand and use those chomper things to get them out. We can call this Bears in Quicksand!” Umm. Yes. Yes, we sure can! Brilliant idea, little man. The sensory play idea is the perfect combination to strengthen little hands for writing through imaginary play. A sensory bin with kinetic sand and counting bears for the win!
RELATED: Preschool activities should be low-prep and fun for kids.
Important pro tip
If you get kinetic sand, make sure it is BEACH SAND. Yep. I am going to get straight to the point. Beach Sand is much easier to clean up and lasts for months. – Maybe years, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself.
Getting kinetic beach sand is a little trick my friend at Toddler Approved taught me and has proven to be true.
You bet I linked to the CORRECT kinetic sand in the supply list below!
RELATED: Love kinetic sand and want more ideas? Here are 20 ways to play with kinetic sand.
What if my child dislikes tweezers?
These tweezers (aka chompers) take time. But that doesn’t mean you must toss or pass them to a neighbor!
We have plenty of ways to play with jumbo tweezers, and they are so beneficial to small hands before we learn how to write letters.
If your child is frustrated, place them aside and introduce kitchen tongs first, just like we did here.
Let’s hear it for the counting bears!
Now let’s shine a little love on the counting bears. As a teacher, I had these bears in my classroom and pulled them out on a whim years ago with my oldest.
There hasn’t been a day we haven’t played with them (or stepped on one) in the last seven years. – This simple toy is excellent; it gets a front-row seat on our forever toy list.
RELATED: New to sensory play? Be sure to check out how to introduce sensory play.
Remember, the trick to this sensory bin is the beach kinetic sand. It clumps together much better than the others for cleanup. Skip the colored sand. It is a mess!
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Helping Hands Fine Motor Tools
A pack of fine motor supplies in one place? Yes, please! This pack gives your child the option of using tweezers or squeeze tongs.
Whoop! Whoop! Add this to the list of the top five as well. Again, I use these bears both in the classroom and at home. Sort them by color, separate them by size, or integrate them into imaginary play. WE LOVE THESE BEARS!
Kinetic Beach Sand
Have you tried kinetic sand? It cleans up more easily than most sensory play and feels lovely in little hands. We keep ours in an airtight container when not in use.
This 40 QT bin is a simple way to inspire more sensory play at home with kids. Here is why sensory play is important.
How to play
The objective: save the bears from the quicksand and drop them into safety. – A pretty straightforward game, don’t you think?
When all the bears have been rescued, count them up and play again or encourage free play if it heads in that direction.
As my boys collect the bears, they work on fine motor strength. This is a pretty big deal! We don’t want to skip opportunities to squeeze, grab, squirt, paint, cut, and draw lines and curves.
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Kinetic beach sand is easy to clean up because it clumps together. Colored kinetic sand is awful. It stains and does not clean up well. Before buying kinetic sand, look for the words beach sand on the bag.
When you introduce kinetic sand for kids, you can show them how to use it, but you also want to step back and let them take charge. For inspiration, here are 20 ways to play with kinetic sand.
Kinetic sand for kids is normal sand mixed up with slippery things like glue and dishwasher soap. It gives kids this lovely, stretchy texture to play with, shape, and mold. I love using kinetic sand in sensory play for children to experience new textures.