Sand is an excellent resource to have in your school grounds for play based learning. Sand lends itself well to be used with loose parts play and is best when children are able to bring water to mix with the sand and enhance the experimentation.

There are some incredibly good examples of sand pits being used for learning. The STEM playground in the Morphy Richards Engineering Education Centre at Dumfries House has a fabulous one and shows how advanced play with sand can get.

  • A timber structure with ladders, chutes and a scoop are in the sandpit
  • A timber structure with ladders, chutes and pulleys are in the sandpit. The sand is surrounded by grass
  • sandpit with a wooden walkway and roofed seating area
  • Children playing with sand and water in the outdoor space at Corstorphine Primary School Nursery
  • A large open sandpit

Keeping sandpits clean

It is the responsibility of the school to keep the playground safe for children to play, sandpits are an excellent resource for learning and play but they also attract wildlife such as foxes and domestic cats from the neighbourhood as a good resource for burying their faeces.

But there is a good preventative measure being used by many of our schools and nurseries already. Each day a responsible adult will need to cover and uncover the sandpit when the playground opens and closes for the day.

The recommended item used to cover the sandpit is available on Oracle from FH Brundle and is called Orange Safety Fencing. The animals don’t like to walk on this mesh or dig into it.

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