My daughter is always asking for sand to fill her little play/beach bucket. At present, I have no sand on hand, the nearby park has none, and I keep forgetting to get some from the store. She also has some sand sifters I had purchased from Walmart that was just kind of sitting around (as we have not yet gone to the beach either this season – well at least not here in the US).
Sand Sifters below
I had seen an idea from a baby/toddler activity book I had from the library about letting kids feel the texture of cornmeal. So last week I thought up an idea of using cornmeal instead of sand to make her sand boxes.
It is safe to play with (of course, she wants to eat some, too) and it kind of has a course sandy texture. She loved the idea and so did I! Even better, between the two activities, in and out doors, they kept her busy for about a good 45-50 minutes!
I had a 1 and 1/2 pound bag of cornmeal in the pantry plus about another cup in a tub in the pantry.
So I divided all the cornmeal between 2 bins – one for indoor play and the other for outdoor play. (Of course, now I was out of cornmeal and needed more for my recipes). Here are my ideas below.
For indoor play:
1. I used a bowl I had bought before for her play activities (from Dollar Tree). It was just sitting in the garage, unused.
2. Dumped about 3/4 of a 1 and 1/2 pound bag of cornmeal in the bowl.
3. And there you have it, her cornmeal “sandbox!” It’s time to use her sand sifters to dump the cornmeal over and over again into the bowl. She had tons of fun! The bowl was a little tall from her sitting position at the table, even with a booster seat – maybe next time we will try the floor or a smaller bowl.
4. I used old wrapping paper to spread under the bowl in case of accidents/spills – prevent the cornmeal from splattering all over the carpet. Some still ended up on the floor – but hey, she is a toddler. Remember, little hands). (A plastic table cover can be used to – just shake the cornmeal right off).
5. Then when done playing, store away.
For outdoor play:
1. I used a toddler shoe box and put the rest of the cornmeal from the bag (about a 1/4 bag left and the 1 cup I had in the tub).
2. She then used her little shovels to dig the cornmeal sand from the box and dump into her little bucket. She love this!
3. To store away, I placed the sandbox into another plastic shoe storage bin and covered it (the bin cost around $. 97 cents at Walmart). This way, if it rains, her “sand” will not wash away – I stored it outside next to her play area.
There you go – Cornmeal “Sandboxes”!