Low mess 'sand' box
Posted Jan 24, 2015 by Jacquie Robison
~ cookie sheet
~ small cooking utensils (spoon, measuring cup)
~ items that can be treasure to find (wine charms were handy for me…)
Tapping into the creativity of my inner child has been a corollary of welcoming our daughter into our lives. Seeing how certain things ignite her curiosity has been a spark for me to come up with low-cost, easy to put together activities that continue to stimulate her mind and her muscles.
This ‘sand box’ makes for a great play session for any child developing their fine motor skills — not just a child with CP. That’s one of the things that we’ve really reinforced with our friends, and it has helped open the conversation to other questions they may have. Sharing Sofia’s progress with them and talking about the new skills she is mastering — as well as the kinds of things that are beyond her reach right now — help everyone to be comfortable about suggesting playdates to meet her where she is. And to encourage her forward. A chat about ‘What is Sofia able to do now?’ leads to ‘Would Sofia like to come over and play…we’re baking and decorating cupcakes.’
That kind of understanding and inclusivity from friends and their children has been a gift like none other. Now, I’m not putting rose colored glasses on this. It has still meant a lot of parent involvement — when she was not yet walking on her own and needed assistive devices, a drop off playdate wasn’t a real possibility (at 5 and a half years old, she just had her first solo playdate with one of her girlfriends — she was sooooo thrilled at the independence!) But, being invited to hang out with friends and participate fully in the activity at hand has been important to show her the art of the possible.
This sand box activity was inspired by a conversation with her OT. During her therapy session, Sofia was encouraged to explore with both her hands and really manipulate objects with her fingers. That afternoon, I grabbed a cookie sheet, covered it with rice and buried a few wine charms to use as ‘treasure’ for her to find. I brought out some kitchen utensils — a measuring spoon, cup, small whisk and a cookie cutter. You can choose any combination of items that are not sharp and are safe for your child. If they are very small, I’d suggest eliminating the small treasure items, so they don’t end up in little mouths! Happy digging!