I love finding new materials for toddlers to use as an indoor sandbox, and today we tried something totally different: cedar shavings. Veronika took right to the material, and I quickly discovered there were three things to love about it.
First, it smells incredible. That meant the play doubled not only as tactile sensory play, but olfactory sensory play, too. Veronika would pick up handfuls and declare, “It smells really good!”
Second, there was a down-on-the-farm vibe to how the cedar shavings looked in a bin (they made me think of hay in a hayloft), so we set up a little pretend farm play. We added a funnel to be her “silo”, and Veronika loved filling it up with a pitchfork (er, beach shovel).
Then we added toy animals who could play on the farm. Veronika loved sprinkling the cedar down on them, or burying them underneath the shavings.
Finally, the cedar is a dream when it comes time to clean-up. Unlike tiny materials (rice!), this sweeps up cleanly and easily. A win for parents and kids both.