How to Observe Sand Play in a Nursery

Adult observation is necessary in all types of nursery school play, from water to sand play. However, observation is not the only key ingredient. Interaction and introducing nursery schoolchildren to activities is also key to entertainment and learning. Observing sand play in a nursery ensures safety and introduces children to new environments and situations.

Observe sand play by working with only two or three children at a time. Depending on the number of children attending the nursery, you may need additional adults or even teenagers to assist during sand play 1. Working with smaller numbers allows closer observation to prevent swallowing sand and spills.

Have sand-related toys like sand shovels, pails and toy sand rakes available for children to play in the sand. Cups also work when pails are unavailable or in addition to pails. These toys allow nursery age children to learn basic skills of scooping and pouring.

Interact with children as they play instead of simply watching over playtime. Teach children how to shovel, carefully move and pour sand into various containers. Encourage imagination and creative thinking by playing along, scooping with the shovel, bucket and cups and dumping the sand into different containers.

Remind children throughout sand play of the nursery rules regarding avoiding spills and throwing the sand 1. Scold children with a soft but firm "no" and insist that after the first warning, disobedient children sit in the naughty corner of the nursery school area while other children enjoy the rest of playtime.

Encourage children to draw shapes, letters and numbers into the sand. This will help in learning these articles and teach other basic skills of drawing, writing and creating with the hands.

Observe children closely for safety and education reasons. Observation is necessary for nursery school sand play, as young children must be monitored to ensure safety and prevention of choking and to teach children the proper way to play in sand and how to avoid making messes inside their homes and within the nursery 1.


Create your own indoor sandbox using an inflatable toddler's paddling pool to prevent many sand spills. Replacing sand with food items like oatmeal helps ease the worry of nursery age children eating the sandbox contents. Special indoor nursery sand is made to be safe and silicone free, so that no little bellies are harmed from consumption of the sand. This sandpit design can be used in placed other than the nursery, such as inside the home or on a screen porch or patio.