Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Moon Sand Pit in our Living room

My kids love playing with sand. While we live on the sunny island of Singapore, I do not take them to the beach as often as I ought to as my husband and I are not too fond of the sun.

The beauty about playing with sand is there is no wrong way to play with it. In contrast to plastic toys that are ready-made and pre-determined for the child, sand, is well-suited to the explorative and imaginative nature of young children. 

There are many benefits of sand play, the first being the development of the sense of touch through the texture of the sand. Sand play also develops the arm, wrist, and hand muscles, uses grasping and wrist control. It provides for creativity and imagination and is relaxing for the child. While playing with sand, a child also develops eye-hand coordination, experimentation with volume, weight, and measurement.The best sand, I find, are those that are fine enough and slightly damp so you can mould and work with it.
Early this year, I discovered a product made in Sweden called Moon Sand. Moon Sand looks and feels like sand yet it can be to molded into any shape, like dough. 

I am not sure who loves playing with Moon Sand more, my kids or I. There is something soothing, absorbing and extremely therapeutic about playing with this medium. I simply love the fine texture of sand (yes, moon sand is made from real desert sand and a special compound that allows the sand particles to bind together like dough) and the fact that you can compact it to form solid shapes that are limited only by your imagination!

Here is a little video of my girls playing with Moon Sand in our living room.

I decided one day to create a larger "sand pit" in our living room so that the girls can invite their friends to an indoor sand play as often as they like. I filled a baby bath tub that the girls long outgrew with a box of moon sand. 

The baby bath tub I had purchased from Mothercare 6 years ago turned out to be the perfect size and height for containing the moon sand. As the sand doesn't stick or stain surfaces, cleaning up sand that fell out of the tub was an easy job. If there are more rowdy kids, I just place a large blanket under the tub to "collect" the sand that fall out of the tub.

The sand never hardens and never dries out. It is non-toxic and unlike normal sand, Moon Sand can be sterilised (just give it a spray of dettol like you would sterilise any hard surface and allow to air dry). Oh,and if your child happen to create a masterpiece sculpture that you want to keep, all you have to do is put it in the oven to "bake" and it will keep its shape forever. When you feel inspired to do another masterpiece, warm it up again and crumble it back to sand.

Moon Sand is available online as a box of 2kg for SGD $38 at Pupsik Studio and select retail stores islandwide! Larger volumes for pre-school use available upon request. Accessories available and sold separately.

Disclaimer: Playing with Moon Sand can be addictively fun for kids and adults alike so consider yourself warned!

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