Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Messy Box


Staying in the condo, in the city means that I don’t have a backyard. You know, I think having a backyard can save a lot of headache. Whenever you’re out of ideas to entertain your kids, you can let them go loose in the backyard or front yard, whatever you have.

Sensory play is so important for little kids, because it’s part of their learning process.

Here are 5 reasons why sensory play is beneficial:

  1. Research shows that sensory play builds nerve connections in the brain’s pathways, which lead to the child’s ability to complete more complex learning tasks.
  2. Sensory play supports language development, cognitive growth, fine and gross motor skills, problem solving skills, and social interaction.
  3. This type of play aids in developing and enhancing memory
  4. Sensory play is great for calming an anxious or frustrated child
  5. This helps children learn sensory attributes (hot, cold, sticky, dry)

We went to a few indoor playgrounds, and one of Naila’s favorites is the cassia pit. She loves sitting down, pouring the cassia seeds into the truck and digging. When we got home, I just thought of an idea of a makeshift sandbox.

At first I was thinking of using an inflatable pool, but storage would be a nightmare. Then I thought of really buying a sandbox at Toy’r’us but I saw the price and was like, no way! So I went to good old Ikea, and I found this perfect transparent, lightweight SAMLA box. I took the biggest box. The measurements are 78x56x18 cm. I also bought the cover, so the total I paid was a grand RM55.


SAMLA box with lid.

Next was what to fill it with. Cassia seeds are hard to get in KL. I think the indoor playgrounds import them in large quantities from China or something. Then I came across the ‘pouring station’ idea from another blog. They used flour, rice, different sized containers, funnels and spatulas. Perfect! Everything I need is already in the kitchen.



Pouring station set-up.

I didn’t even buy a funnel. I simply made them from scrap paper. It’s better to use a hardier paper like manila card so the funnel can retain its shape. Setting up took 10 minutes.

The verdict? Naila got excited the moment she saw me pouring flour, she couldn’t wait to jump in! So she stayed in the box close to an hour. It was magically quiet. She had loads of fun pouring the flour and mixing the rice with a spatula. After play, I just bring Naila to the showers, and done.



Naila obviously having the time of her life.

We still have the set-up after two weeks. Having the box lid is also very helpful to keep things tidy. To be honest this messy box idea trumps any other toys that she has in terms of longest alone playtime. It’s also very versatile, you can simply substitute the contents later with water, or balls, or even sand! It builds their fine skills and they’ll love it so much!

If you have any ideas for toddler playtime, do share! I’d love to hear more ideas because right now, I’m on a roll!

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