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I've been looking through last tearms planning and have found that we repeat the same activities in the sand and the water regularly, I was wondering if any body has any suggestions on how to make the areas more exciting. We did back in July create a beach in doors which I have to say was fantastic (indoors because of the rubbish weather). we also do all the usual things, buckets animals pouring diggers etc,

I would really like to hear how you all make these areas exciting for your little ones so I can steal some of your ideas LOL

thanks for reading


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Hi, a few ideas that could you are a desert with play people, aeroplane stones/shells etc.

Firestation with fire station firemen, posters, fireengines signs, telephone, clipboard books on firemen. firemen helmets. for this this children learnt what a firemen does what to do in case of a fire. The children used the clipboards to write down where the fire was etc after answering the phone.

Plants and plantpots.Plastic. (Flower shop)

A farm with all the farm animals.

Bob the builder hats with posters etc. different diggers, tape measures, building blocks. This was very popular and lasted for over 7 weeks.

Treasure hunt - hide objects, plastic letters in the sand for children to find, name sort or match.

Adventure playground with small world

Castle with knights etc

Re-enacting stories and rhymes in the sand using small world eg jack and jill, three little pigs, three billygoats, were going on a bear hunt.

Imaginary cooking in the sand, using cooking utensils, bun tins etc.

Hope this gives you a few more ideas x 0258 :o

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Oops! thought you just wanted ideas for sand. Ideas for the water are

swimming pool with dolls.

Washing and bathing dolls.

Arctic animals with coloured water

stories and nursery rhymes

Ice cubes- investigating what happens to ice using different coloured ice (mixing colours)

Boat races

floating and sinking using different resources

Jets and sprays

A harbour with boats, small world

Sea creatures.

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Thanks for those ideas lots we have already done but lots we haven't so will jot them down and see what they like never thought about putting food bits in the sand, and don't now about you but we let the children wash the toys for us in the water (saves us a job)

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We had a campsite for role play recently. Tents, sleeping bags, paddling pool filled with water and some little deck chairs from where our children sat and fished with magnitised rods to catch ..........magnitised fish of course!! Great fun.


Guttering and drainpipes can be used in both the sand and water.

Depending on whether your setting uses food in play - jelly, cooked spaghetti, porridge etc for textures and smells.


Thats all for the mo - have to go back to assignment. :o

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we use washing tablet bags in the sand and water


small and large bottles


socks ( don't ask my why but the kids love them, I got this idea from a school i visited, They did not know why they did but the kids loved it, it does produce lots of language about heavy and light)




we put washing up liquid in the sand and make mouse with whisks and spoons



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scolacell paste & tights



Ice (with/without paint)





with tights



Enjoy :o










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Loved the fishy pictures- didnt it smell? I love the little girl playing in the sand in her dressing up clothes!





Yes, it was a bit smelly but soon sorted with a spot of bleach and air freshener (clear of the children of course).

If you look closely two girls are wearing the same dress, a very popular fashion accessory in the peschool. :o



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Just have to say I love your fish too!! Just racking my brains now to think at what point in the year would be the best time to do this in my class! My poor TA will have a fit!



The best bit especially for the squeamish is when the flesh of the fish starts to fall apart as the children explore all the fishs' features in the water. At this point I took the fish away, cut off the skin (which a child then used as a purse to carry some lego in :o:( ) and took away all the flesh to show the children the skeleton. The whole activity provokes great interest and conversations about going fishing with parents etc. xD



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soap flakes

empty shampoo bottles - squeezing

empty hand wash bottles - pumping

spray bottles

i put some of our metal resources from our treasure baskets/mirrors/cds - reflective



one popular idea - washing plant pots. children enjoyed watching the water run through the holes at the bottom

sponges/cloths - our children love cleaning

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ooh, I've just remembered, many moons ago read a book by Peter Dixon called 'Puddle Jumping'.


Great idea in it which really fits in well with the current poor weather we've been having. Anyway, basically when it rains and puddles are easily available the children are given an assortment of tools / utensils and are encouraged to problem solve how to transfer the 'puddle' into a clear container. Try to give each child a clear container that has a lid, then they can take their 'puddle' home. CLL- children can label their puddle containers ie: "My Puddle", 'date' name.


I did this at preschool and quite a few years later I met one of the parents who told me that her child still had her 'Puddle' as an ornament in her bedroom. xD


Obviously if we get a late 'Indian' summer, you don't need to wait for rain, just get the hosepipe out and make your own puddles (not quite the same as rain though). :o:(




p.s. at least one child will venture into the middle of the puddle, squat down to get the water and soak his/her b*m :(



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