Sand Play and Sensory Processing Disorder generally do not mix. Adam’s dislike for playing in the sand was one of the red flags we noticed prior to his diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder. He loved being at the beach but would scream if sand touched him anywhere on his body. He was extremely sensitive to textures. As a teacher I know there are many benefits of sand play so I I knew this was one area we would have to overcome.
Sand play is particularly beneficial for developing a sense of texture. Sand feels very different from other textures such as grass and concrete. By burying themselves in sand and feeling their body position within the sand children are engaging their proprioceptive sense.
Over time we tackled Adam’s issue in many ways. We introduced tactile experiences slowly and gradually and always on Adam’s terms. We gave him tools so he didn’t have to touch the sand directly. We provided baby wipes, towels and a bowl of water so he could wash his hands whenever he wanted to. We added different toys such as Meerkats and trucks which captured Adams interest. Slowly he became ready to experience the different texture and now Adam cannot get enough of sand.
Our Wooden Sand Pit Flip from Wickey has been instrumental in getting Adam to enjoy sand play and subsequently enjoy its benefits. The sand box has a clever hinged lid that makes two seats. This allows Adam to sit with his friends without getting their clothes covered in sand. This design of the box helps to contain the sand. The two benches also means that Nana and I can sit down too.
The Sand Box measures 120cm x 125cm and is made from KDI wood. The “Flip” doesn’t need paint or varnish and is extremely weatherproof. Although the Sand Box does not have a base, we placed a Safe Sand Foil mat underneath so no roots and worms will get into the sand pit. We used 60KG of play sand which adequately covered the bottom of the sand pit.
Adam, and his cousins, have thoroughly enjoyed playing with the “Flip” over the summer. We shall place an additional waterproof cover over the sand pit during the winter so that the sand pit can be enjoyed throughout the year.
I am thankful that we persevered with introducing sand play to Adam despite his Sensory Processing Disorder.
Disclaimer: We were sent a Sandpit Flip, set of 4 plastic sandpit corner protectors and a Safe Sand Foil from Wickey to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.
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