Knowing that children and sand go together like PB&J (although a little grittier), I knew I needed to do a sand activity with my playgroup. I’ve had a sensory box set up with sand, shovels and cups, but I was ready to take sand to the next level.
I loved the idea of having a dinosaur bone dig. It just seemed like a natural kind of science activity, it involves playing in the sand, cleaning the “bones” and matching pieces to a puzzle of sorts.
I spent a lot of time trying to find exactly what I was looking for already created. I wanted dinosaur outlines filled in with pasta. The pasta could then be buried in a sandbox for the children to lightly “excavate” and match to the appropriate shape. Eventually, I realized I just needed to create it. The dinosaur info document has what dear husband created for me in auto cad, with a couple of information pages I taped up for the children, about dinosaurs, to extend their learning.
And it totally worked. I had dollar store litter boxes filled with sand with enough “bones” to fill in all the puzzles, on both tables. I started with paint brushes to clean the bones with, but the children were more interested in painting with sand, so I quickly switched to vegetable scrubbers and the children quickly adapted. The sand was fun to play with, and I only used three different kinds of pasta, so it was easy to sort through. There was a chorus of “this is cool” and lots of opportunities for the children to leave and come back to it, my favorite kind of activity.
I think a great extension to this would be something in the archaeology realm. I’m not really sure what, but hope that the next time this activity comes along, I’ll have it worked out.