This week’s Unplugged Project theme of sand was inspired by the giant pile of sand that we have near our swing set. We had it brought it in to spread around the swing set area to soften the crash zone and also to control weeds.
I thought my children would have a lovely time spreading the sand nicely throughout the area. Wrong. My children have a lovely time playing on the pile of sand and don’t want it spread out! Oh well, for now we will leave it as is. It is providing hours of cheap entertainment.
I had all kinds of cool sand ideas, but my kids had their own idea so I just let them go with it: mixing. One of their favorite activities is standing at the kitchen sink while I cook and taking bits of the ingredients (flour, vinegar, spices, salt, whatever is out) and mixing it all in a bowl accompanied by plenty of “oohs”, “aahs”, and shouts of “gross!”
First we scooped some sand into containers and brought it in.
I wisely laid out my vinyl “craft” tablecloth that we use for messy projects. The children then gathered some dry ingredients: sugar, salt, flour, parsley flakes (that I never use and for some reason I have an ancient, industrial sized container of them), cumin (for the lovely smell), and celery salt (because again, I have too much of it!).
In the back of the pantry we also found some red lentils for color. The children wanted to grind them up with a mortar and pestle, but it turns out that lentils are VERY hard so they used them whole.
I passed out an assortment of spoons, small ladles, a honey stirrer, and a tuna can strainer for sifting. Of course hands were the most fun to use.
The kids sat quietly and mixed and played with it for at least an hour, maybe more. They had a ball, I relaxed, and the kitchen took on a lovely cumin scent!
Next my oldest daughter had the idea of making sand pictures with glue. The kids put Elmer’s glue on construction paper to make a design:
Then they sprinkled their sand mixture on the paper making sure to cover all the glue:
Next was the fun part – dumping the sand off the paper to see how the picture turned out (lots of oohs and aahs)!
The kids also experimented with tissue paper, lentils and sugar.
The finished art (Blue: 8 year-old, White: 6 year-old, and Yellow: 2 year-old):
1) This is a good outdoor project, or indoors with a tablecloth – but be prepared to vacuum after.
2) Since food ingredients are involved, make sure little ones don’t try to eat their creations.
4) If you do use spices: MONITOR HOW MUCH IS USED (or this project could get pricey). Also – avoid anything containing pepper unless you have a lot of Kleenex on hand.
5) If you allow the use of water, be sure it is only a small amount or be prepared for a big muddy mess!
6) If kids dump their sand outside when done, be sure you know where they do this. Ours went into one of my rose beds so I should have a nice crop of lentils sprouting very soon. :(
Finally, here are some photos of the very favorite sand Unplugged Project around here, jumping off the swings and landing on the sand pile!
Did you join us for a sand project this week? If you took part in the Unplugged Project this week, please link to your post. If you didn’t do a sand project, then please do not link, but read about how to join in next week!