Monday, October 10, 2011

Sand Tray (An Activity and A Process)

Inspired from this product that was pinned on Pinterest, I made a new activity tray (a.k.a. "work").  

On a tray, I offered the children:
1. a smaller tray with sand
2. cards with simple patterns or shapes
3. a writing tool (a little plastic stick)
4. a tongue depressor that would act as the eraser (later to be switched out for combs)

I wanted to see how well the children could copy the patterns on the pattern cards, and for the most part they could. It was a good assessment for some children.  

One of the children didn't even want to attempt the triangle pattern and I could tell it was because the child was afraid of making it "wrong". This is a student who has an older sibling who no doubt, with good intentions, tries to "teach" the younger sibling how to do things like draw shapes.  The great thing is, if it weren't for this activity and closely observing the child, I wouldn't even have picked up on the child's need for guidance in this area.  Now I know that this child needs extra support in taking risks as well as getting out of right-and-wrong models. 

In the photo above, Br and Ha showed me that combs (taken from another work basket) actually work better as erasers because the tongue depressor just pushes the sand right out of the tray.  Combs also make beautiful striped patterns in the sand. 

Since our only playsand options were blue and purple, I stole some more natural-colored sandbox sand, which needed a good sifting.  Look at all of the debris caught by the colander.  Our sandbox is full of treasures.

Until next time!

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