After the spectacular failure of the water table last week, the hubs and I decided to try to re-purpose the toy as a sand table.
I’m not a huge fan of the combination of sand and small children. It gets in their hair and under their chins, it finds its way into their diapers and somehow wedges under the soles of their shoes so that they become miniature beach boys, always with feel of sand between their toes. It’s not a good thing. After a trip to the sand-cushioned park, my three year old grumbles like a diminutive opium eater about being “itchy-itchy” and wails about having sand in his eyes.
Why then would we deliberately offer them the stuff?
Well, two reasons: one, despite the drawbacks, they really enjoy playing in it, and two, after the last fiasco, I had done some research and had a couple of tricks up my sleeve.
Cleaning up our post-move mess, I found a large outdoor play-pen that just fits around the table. It means the baby can’t wander off so easily to do himself and others damage. It also contains the play area (and the spread of sand) within a more manageable — and easily supervised — area.
The hubs also had a stroke of genius (!) when he
accidentally left the bag of play sand in the rain very scientifically put a bit of water in with the sand. When it’s damp, sand is much better to dig in and mold with. It also doesn’t fly around in the wind and find its way into small, squishy crevices quite so much.
The boys happily played with their new toy for A WHOLE twenty minutes or so. The littlest one’s short attention span even seemed to be aided by the confines of gate that meant that whenever he was about to wander, he was redirected to a new part of the table.
When it was time to pack up, I pulled out my third and final trick: cornstarch. Dusting it liberally around their feet and hands (but careful to not let them inhale it by mistake) the sticky sand dried and rubbed off almost instantly! Cool, huh? Gotta love Pinterest!
So, finally, finally! the hubs and I got a win! It only took 10 weeks, two locations, two revisions and major clean up to make it work!