Tuesday, March 24, 2015

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Space Sand for Fine Motor Skills & Letter Learning!

Space Sand is soooooooo much fun!!

Not only does it tie into space units (which are one of my favorite things to study!), but it's just as much fun to make by itself as its own little project!  You an use it to practice writing letters or numbers, drawing, as a sensory bin, a place to bury treasure, or to pretend you're walking on the moon and you discover this amazing new texture.  And I will tell you...it is one of the coolest textures ever!

I will admit that I invented this recipe myself...it may or may not have any actual resemblance to the moon or sand from any other extra-terrestrial planet!  But, it is fun to pretend that when you travel to space you will encounter textures different than if you just walked into your own backyard...

Anyways, making the space sand is just as much fun as playing in it, so we will start out with the super simple recipe:

1 cup salt
1/2 cup cornstarch
black paint

This fills an 8" tray very nicely for one child, though it can easily be split into two trays if you have two kiddos.  If you have more than two kiddos, you may want to multiply the recipe...or rotate turns at a Space Sand Station!

Mix the salt and cornstarch first, then add the black paint.

If it isn't dark enough for your little astronauts, you can always add more black paint!

Once it is all mixed together, you can start playing right away!  Or, you can make it the night before and let store it in a nice zip lock baggie.  Either way, once you're ready to play, put it in the tray and let your kiddos get busy!

You could encourage them to write letters in it...

or you could use it to practice writing their name, numbers, address, etc.  

Or you could hide little treasures in it.

Or your kiddos may hide little treasures in it!

(Yes, I do believe that is a piece of popcorn!)

I especially love how my children can be 100% involved in the mixing-up process and still enjoy it afterwards!  They also cleverly thought to pull out spatulas and wooden spoons to use as they explored as well!

In the end, they played with it as long as they play with play doughs, and then I scooped it into a bag to save for the next day!  I'm seriously considering tossing in a few flowers next time!

What would you do with a bin of Space Sand?

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