When I used to work with Pre-schoolers I used large plastic Builders' Trays as
sensory tubs. How great to see mothers using minature versions with small plastic boxes!
As it's tricky getting to the beach with a baby I brought the beach to Big Seed.
This is great when it rains.
This is what I used inside:
Pebble from beach
Shells and driftwood sticks
Red and green glass beads
Round and square shaped baby food tubs as miniature sand moulds
To keep his interest and expand this I have a box of things ready
to swap or add things in:
1/2 cup sized scoop
Cookie cutter - great in wet sand
Selection of miniature diggers
When these are used up, the imagination and creativity can really get going when you add things that you normally would not associate with sand:
Cars to show different tracks in the sand
Little plastic dolls
Jungle animals; especially camels, tigers etc
Jewellery from Charity Shops to hide for treasure
Cake moulds, cooking equipment
...and the list goes on.
Add two types of things that wouldn't normally go together:
i.e. marbles and cake moulds... and you might get pretty decorated sand cakes,
or this lends to games being made up.
Have lots of fun together!