For my regular readers, you know how frequently I discuss the importance of sensory play for kids (look under "Child Development Nuggets" in my archives). I recently ordered some new products for my classroom and saw a "portable sandbox" which presented as a much cheaper alternative to a sand table (remember I work for a school system by day with a limited budget!).
Well, the product finally arrived. It is called Delta Sand. A similar product available in most stores is Moon Sand. I must tell you that I was amazed at how light the box was. I'm used to lugging around a big, heavy rice box so I was pleased to find that it weighed much less than my laptop.
I brought it home and found that the set up was quite easy. Just inflate the ring around the carrying case and pour it in. I am disappointed with the quality of the carrying case. Great idea, but I put a small rip in the inflatable ring when I pulled back the Velcro cover. Given the fact that I am a grown up and was fairly cautious with it, the likelihood that little ones will damage the case is highly likely.
Despite this, the sand itself is incredible. My kids had a ball shaping it and building different structures. They would have played with it for hours had I let them! I must admit, that I too found the stuff hard to resist. It doesn't leave that sandy residue on your hand and there is no odor. Moon sand is available in a number of different colors, does not absorb water (it actually floats!) and can be baked for permanent structures (great for school projects such as volcanos, solar systems, etc.). It is relatively inexpensive as well.
The Moon Sand link above goes to the ToysRUs website which has a video demonstration of the product and its uses. It also has reviews by parents. Many parents complained about the mess which it can be. I would suggest putting a large blanket or vinyl tablecloth on the floor under the box so you can easily pour any contents that get out back in. I also would recommend buying a large plastic tub to keep the sand in. As I said earlier, I found the store bought container to be of poor quality.
This product is recommended for children 3-8 years of age. Delta Sand is made from sand with special binding agents. The site indicates it is safe if used for the intended purpose. There was not information I could find about toxicity if ingested so be forewarned. So I would keep a close eye if you have little ones who still like to put things in their mouths!
Shh, don't tell my kids, but they will be getting some of this under the Christmas tree this year!
Have you used Delta Sand or Moon Sand? Let me know what you and your clan think of the product :)
PS: I do not work for either manufacturer nor do I get any freebies for sharing my recommendation of these products. If you know how I can get some freebies, hook me up!