Babies In The Sandpit


Babies enjoy sand play. But, it is an activity requiring close adult supervision. The baby can sit with a carer in the sandpit and experience the texture, temperature, movement and other sensory characteristics of the sand. Through sand play, babies develop skills such as hand-eye coordination and explore concepts such as weight, mass and cause and effect.

What you need?

  • Sandpit or free standing, 30cm deep container filled with sand
  • Digging, scooping, shaping tools, containers, spades, buckets and moulds that are small enough and manageable by babies


1. Sit with the babies and play in the sandpit or at the edge of the above-ground container of sand.

2. Place some items around the inside of the sandpit/sand container. Include some items that babies are familiar with. Have some items of bright colours, pastel colours and multi-coloured, and different shapes and sizes.

3. Always tell the baby what you are going to do before doing anything. For example, state or ask the baby about pouring sand into their hand, and demonstrate on yourself first.


Always check the sandpit for foreign objects and cleanliness.

Extension of the activity

  • Continue the teaching/learning opportunities by adding water to the sand, hiding toys/objects in the sand.
  • Put words to tunes to develop songs while playing in the sandpit.
  • Have pictures/photos in the environment of babies playing in the sandpit.
  • Use recyclable items, such as pots and pans, ladles, cups and bowls.

Language Structure / Keywords

Use single words of two-word phrases when talking about the sand. For example, while digging say ‘digging sand’, when pouring, say ‘pouring sand’; and ‘sand’, ‘spade’ and ‘pouring’. Gently hold the baby’s hand out and trickle sand on to their hand while saying ‘feel sand’, ‘cold sand’, etc.