Children love to play in water. Some take to it faster than others, splashing in the bathtub even before they can sit up on their own. For others water play is an acquired taste, but it is one more opportunity to learn and experience the world around them.
Playing in the sand is also popular with toddlers and preschoolers, and playing with sand and water together can open up whole new worlds to young children who can use these simple materials as a means to fuel their imagination and explore their world.
Traditionally, small children have been introduced to sand and water play through sandboxes. Many parents may even remember playing in the sandbox themselves, but sitting in the sand, especially with other children still in diapers may not be the most hygienic choice for playing in the sand.
Instead, children can play at a sand and water table and get all the benefits older generations had in the sandbox without the increased risk of bladder infections or other health issues. While some precautions can be taken, standing at a sand and water table is a healthier choice and just as much fun.
Sand and water tables come in a variety of different styles with different levels of functionality. A sand and water table can be simply elevated sandbox, or full-fledged activity center toy. Children can use features such as a waterwheel, shovels, buckets, spoons, and molds for hours of fun.
Sand and water play can help develop both fine and large motor skills, a sense of balance, and help build social skills. It’s also been shown to have a calming effect on preschoolers- something any caregiver can appreciate from time to time.
Parents and caregivers can get in on the fun too, as they help toddlers pour water throughout the water wheel or dig rivers in the sand. However, after very little guidance, children are likely to take over with their own ideas on how to get the most fun out of their activity center toy.
Whether they are using this as a backyard toy or it as part of a daycare environment children will love playing at their sand and water table. It provides the right blend of imagination and structure to help children develop important skills, while at the same time they are simply enjoying themselves. And isn’t that what childhood is all about?