toddler tested: messy play with indoor sand

I struggle to keep the house tidy. You see, I live with a cabinet opening, shoe throwing, sticker pasting, snack throwing toddler. As I mentioned in my first toddler tested post, Zooey has a short attention span. Whatever new toy or activity I throw at her will only intrigue her for 10 minutes. Then she gets bored and moves on. However when it comes to messy play, she stays put much longer. Last month, I introduced her to a new sensory activity using rice in a shallow bin. And she loved it! She spent at least a good 20 minutes playing with the rice and emptying the bin. She was throwing handfuls of rice like they were confetti. Lucky for me, all that mess was contained in the play room.

The Activity: For our next messy activity, I bought a box of indoor play sand by Sands Alive!. According to their website, the sand itself is made of all natural and non-toxic ingredients, though they do not mention the exact ingredients (hmmm). They also state that its non-toxic formula prevents bacterial growth and is apparently safe if your child accidentally ingests it.

The set that we bought came with a plastic tray to dump the sand in, along with a scooper, shovel and a couple of cute dessert moulds. Even though the product claims that the sand is safe to ingest, I would prefer for her not to. So adult supervision is a must!

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Toddler Tested: Since Zooey has never been to the beach before, playing with sand was a first for her. Like the rice bin, she attempted to empty the sand tray with her bare hands. That is, until I gave her the scooper and showed her how to use the moulds. The scooper kept her busy for a good amount of time. I joined in the fun and made pretend cakes and ice-cream, which she had way too much fun poking into and destroying. This time around, Zooey managed to stay put for about half an hour. She did manage to lick a finger or two before I got to wash her hands (don’t worry, she’s fine). I tasted it myself and it was strangely sweet.

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My Thoughts: Because this was such a messy activity, I set up a mess zone by using a picnic mat. It also makes cleanup easier. When playtime was over, the sand was stored in a large zip lock bag. I like how soft and smooth the sand feels. My only issue is that the scent of the sand was a tad too strong for my liking. Besides that, I really enjoyed this messy play session with my little girl. If you’re thinking of getting or gifting one, the set we have retails at AED119 which you can find at Virgin Megastore (UAE).

♥ Melody

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