Need Space Activity: Portable Beach
This Need Space activity is the perfect indoors-and-going-crazy-because-it’s-too-cold-to-go-outside type of activity. With warmer weather coming up it’s also an excellent rainy-day activity. I threw this together last week when we had company over and it immediately got me FORTY-FIVE MINUTES of uninterrupted time to hang out with the adults and catch up. As in there was no mini-me monkey pantsing me in efforts to climb up to eye level and interject random demands into the conversation. Every other day this week I brought this activity back out and savored a few more minutes of the kids playing more than arms length from me. It’s been grand.
So here we go, super easy and kinda fun to throw together, but may require a trip to the store for parts.
- Shallow tote. I picked up a 32 quart one on sale at Michael’s Craft Store and made a point to get one with a firmly latching lid.
- Bag of “Play Sand” Can be found at your local department store like Lowe’s or Home Depot, located in the outdoor section and usually costs about $3.00. I only used about 30lbs of the 50lb bag. If you want to make it even prettier and don’t mind the extra $$ you can find colored sand on Amazon. Alternatively, try a big bag of rice or flour.
- Random trinkets and small toys. I contemplated buying little figures for this…fairies, TOOB animals, Littlest Pet Shop, etc but I ended up just searching their room for small toys, and then found a bag of seashells and stones I had collected over the years.
- Tablecloth (optional). I picked up a disposable one for $1, just to have something underneath to catch any spilled sand and to make clean up even easier. This also ended up helping to prevent sand from getting ground into our floor and scratching it. So if you skip this you may want to still consider a blanket or carpet underneath.
**Not recommended materials-despite how tempting it may be to include a bucket and/or sifter as if you’re at the beach, don’t! Continuously sifting and pouring the sand indoors will create a sand/dust cloud that will place a thin layer of sand over the surrounding area. I may have learned this the hard way….
I simply put the tablecloth in the center of my livingroom with the tote in the center. Poured in the sand and buried the small trinkets/toys. To build the suspense I had my toddler close her eyes while I did this. She was extremely excited to find a mini-sandbox before her when she opened her eyes, and had a blast finding out what was buried. My youngest was napping at the time, so my oldest got the box all to herself, and was ready to share, show, and play with her little sister when she woke up (thus prolonging my Space time even more!)
SO EASY! Just put the lid back on the tote and store away. Shake the table cloth outside. DONE!
As the weather continues to warm this will become the perfect box for outdoor water fun, bubble mania, mud-pie making, etc! I’ll post more pics as we get to these other uses!