Summer is over, but that doesn’t mean the sand play has to stop! Aside from fun substitutes you can use to fill an indoor sandbox (like flour and dry oats), here are two relatively mess-free ways to play with sand indoors.
The first was to make a rainbow sand tray. Line the bottom of any shallow pan with strips of construction paper in the color of the rainbow, taping down so they don’t slide as your child explores. Cover with a very thin layer of sand.
Now invite your child to start drawing in the sand with fingers or sticks – Travis was ecstatic when he saw colors appear underneath. “What’s in this corner?” he asked, before setting out to discover what shade would show up under each portion.
The tray is then great for drawing shapes and letters.
Next, we made an “everlasting sand castle.” To make a sand mixture that will last long into the winter months, mix together 1 cup sand, 1/2 cup cornstarch, 1 teaspoon cream of tartar, and 3/4 cup hot water. Let the mixture cool before you play with it!
The mixture is very goopy and very fun. Have your child form it into a sand castle or any other shape. Travis loved filling fish and seahorse molds.
We need to let the sand dry for 3 days before unmolding, so stay tuned!
Update: I was amazed at how well this mixture sets! We have our sand molds tucked away for beach-y play all winter long.