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Numeracy In Sandpit - Any Ideas?


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We have a large sandpit in our outdoor area and we want to concentrate on numeracy activities in it for this term

Do any of you clever people have any suggestion?

We have done/ are planning to do:

Hunting for buried numbers

Number line finding the missing numbers

Putting the right number of objects in the corresponding box

Thanks in advance


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How about the old favourites like


capacity- full, empty and half full.

How many cups will it take to fill the bucket- comparitive language.

Which one holds the most?


Treasure hunt- shapes and numbers.

Mark making in the sand.

Sand sculture- can you make a number 1 using sand castles etc.


Who can buid the most sandcastles in one minute.

Add a DT/KUW link and make falgs fot the sandcastles.



Just some quick thoughts will be interested to watch this one.



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Sieving for buried treasure (shells or glass stones etc, depending on age of children) and then estimating before counting how many you've found. Compare with a friend - who has found most? Sieve again. Make number story and find out how many altogether.


Sieving for money - mixture of 1p and 2ps etc. How much do you have?


Bury objects for sorting activities


Which is heavier - cup of dry sand or cup of wet sand?


How many compare bears/ conkers/ unifix cubes weigh the same as a cup full of sand?

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Writing numbers in the sand;

Drawing shapes in the sand;

Number bingo - hidden numbers; children take it in turns to find a number & match it (or not) to their bingo card;

Shape match: bury plastic shapes in the sand & challenge children to match them to the shape board (I've just made a shape board: basically a large piece of cardboard with various shapes in various sizes & colours, which match our selection of plastic shapes, dotted all over the cardboard);

Sorting - by colour, size, kind etc.

Treasure hunt;

Creating a pattern - using whatever really, e.g. natural materials (conkers, shells, fir-cones) or toys (compare bears, animals etc)

Count the small world people & create castles for each one;

Make a pool at one end of your sandpit & do 5 Little Speckled Frogs - frogs jump in to the pool & there is 'one less' each time;

Hide numbers AND objects - children match the correct number of objects to the numeral.


That's all I can think of for now. I really should use some of these ideas myself!

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Thanks for all your replies

Lots of nice ideas.

One of the biggest problems we find with burying things or putting smallish items in the sand is that they are never to be seen again as its a large sand pit and very deep!! :o



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