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A small sandpit outdoors can bring your baby or toddler hours of pleasure and there are lots of learning benefits.
1) They can explore the texture of sand and how it behaves.
2) They will develop control of small muscles, and hand-eye co-ordination as they dig, scoop, pour or mould the sand.
3) Children often squat while playing in sand, and squatting is good exercise.
4) They can explore volumes - how many cupfuls fit in this bucket, for instance.
5) It encourages imaginative play - this lorry must pick up a load of sand and drive to the building site.
Make sure to use clean sand. You can buy suitable sand in good toy shops.
Always cover the sand to prevent animals using the sandpit as a toilet.
Made for purpose plastic sandpits (bought with covers) are safer than wooden ones. You can buy them for less than €25 in Smyths Toys Ireland.
Even on cloudy days, dress your toddler appropriately and add a hat. Put suncreen on as necessary.
Play is one of the main ways that babies and toddlers learn about the world – it’s also one of the most effective ways they learn. When a child plays they refine learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond.
As a parent, you are your child’s best playmate so try to spend time every day playing together. As your baby gets older, don’t try to teach them anything during play. They will learn best if they choose what to play and you follow their lead.
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