We also put some sand in the sensory table today, and while pouring it in the table I sort of over compensated because of the weight and the sand landed behind the table and in our ball pit. Well, being one that doesn't mind the mess to much, I decided to use the pit as a "transport" area. I put the table next to the ball pit and put some sand in both. I gave them buckets, scoops, and containers, and away they went... it kept them busy for almost an hour.
Little Man really loves the sensory table. He did really great keeping the sand out of his mouth. His favorite thing to do was transport the sand to the floor, watching it slip from his hand onto the floor was fascinating for him (well, all of them really). Watching him watch the sand was mesmerizing for all of us. He was so intent and concentrated on what he was doing. I just imagined all the synapses that were going off in his brain. All the information that was being stored. Looking at this, realizing how much babies are learning from this cause and effect kind of experimentation, makes cleaning up the sand so much more worthwhile, don't you think :)
When the ball pit went up, it gave Princess and Sprout somewhere, besides the floor, to move the sand to and they did spend a lot of time letting the sand slip through their fingers on to the floor of the pit.
TODDLER ART... PROCESS OVER PRODUCT
You can see how she is working those finger muscles!! Squeezing is such a great fine motor activity for toddlers. Squeezing play dough, gak, glue bottles, paint bottles, anything... the more they work those muscles the easier it will be to control their pencils or scissors.
Our "messy area" has been used a lot lately, mostly by the toddlers. They love to just explore and experiment with the materials there, never really caring about the finished product. It is actually interesting that when Little Miss M & Sprout are there by themselves they are totally absorbed in the process, but if you put just 1 preschooler or school-ager with them, they follow their lead and have to "show" me their work about 15 times a minute. I know it is because the big kids do it and they mimic them, I just didn't realize how much it happened until the toddlers were working on their own at the messy area, and never asked me to look at their work. They didn't need really any input from me, except how to use the equipment properly. Interesting.