Many months ago when we were reading Clam I Am!: All About the Beach
, we came to a page where Thing 1 and Thing 2 were making pictures by dropping sand onto pieces of paper. Daniel loved that idea. It became his favorite page in the book, and he talked on and on about how he wanted to do it.
I had no idea how to make pictures with sand, but when I mentioned it to Aunt Treasa, she offered to organize the project during our beach vacation. What are aunts for, after all?
Since the sand was free and Easter egg dye was cheap after Easter, the craft probably cost about $10. And the children who tried it thoroughly enjoyed it.
They squeezed the glue.
They dipped their hands into bags full of sand.
They sprinkled the sand onto the paper.
They shook off the excess sand.
And they were really happy with the results—such as this pattern Daniel created.
Leo, who doesn’t like to draw at all, made this picture entirely on his own. I'm sure you can tell that they're Angry Birds.
And she also made a rose.
As Daniel was putting glue onto the paper for his second picture, he said, “This is more fun than I thought it would be.” And it was.
Thank goodness for a crafty aunt who gave us yet another way to enjoy the sand at the beach.
Sand art instructions
1. At least a day before you want to make the pictures, get two pails of sand from the beach.
2. Prepare Easter egg dye following the instructions on the box. (She says, however, she will use less water when we do it again next year to try to make the colors more vibrant.)
3. Put about 3 cups of sand in a large freezer bag for each color.
4. Pour the cup of egg dye into the sand. Seal the bag and mush the sand and dye around until it is mixed.
5. Place sheets of aluminum foil or wax paper on a table or baking sheets and—wearing a rubber glove or a sandwich bag over your hand—spread the sand on the foil or wax paper. You can dry it inside, but it worked better to dry it outside in the sun—but not in direct sunlight or (forgive me since this is probably obvious) wind.
6. The next day, once the sand is dry, place it in clean freezer bags, jars, or bowls.
7. Place a disposable tablecloth on the table to collect the excess sand.
8. Use sketching or drawing paper—a heavier paper—to stand up to the weight of the wet glue and sand.
9. Have the children squeeze bottles of glue onto the paper. Then they can sprinkle the sand on top and shake off the excess.
10. Ooh and aah over the children’s exquisite sand art!
There are likely other ways to do this, so if you have tips to share, please send them along. We plan to do this again next summer.
We had plenty of sand left over, and we could even have filled bottles with the different colors of sand for another craft, if we had wanted to. We sent the extra sand home with the cousins, and we took home these beautiful pictures.
July 23, 2013 10:36
By Rita Buettner
As we were preparing for Daniel’s first trip to the beach, John and I both suspected our younger son would enjoy himself, but we didn’t consider that a given. He often needs time to warm to new experiences.
He comes home from preschool with his sneakers full of sand, so we were fairly sure he would like building sand castles. And he is a huge fan of what John calls “Splashtown USA,” the sprinkler, water table, and wading pool John sets up in our yard. Still, it took Daniel a few weeks to find the courage to climb into the wading pool.
Walking onto the beach for the first time last week, Daniel’s eyes lit up. He laughed and laughed and repeated the phrase he had heard John use, “Big sandbox!” It took me back two years to when Leo first saw the beach—also at 2 1/2—and marveled in those first moments, his face aglow. But this experience was very much Daniel’s, not a re-run of Leo’s, but rather an entirely fresh and riveting sequel.
As Daniel strutted onto the beach with his brother and four of their cousins, it was obvious he loved the sand. And that first day he stood happily in the waves, smiling and watching them crash against his legs.
Then the next day came, and he wouldn’t go anywhere near the water.
As his brother and older cousins leapt and shouted and performed karate chops on what they call “King Kong waves,” Daniel insisted on keeping a good distance from the ocean. I’m not a water person, so I was fine with playing in the sand instead.
Still I knew that Daniel was missing out on something he would actually love. So as the week continued, and he enjoyed collecting shells, burying his father in the sand, and sending me and his aunts for bucket after bucket of water, I decided it was time to persuade him that the waves were also part of the fun.
So I carried him down to the water. He clung to me in fear, as he used to do whenever he saw his brother ride a carousel. Inching bit by bit toward the water, we watched the waves together. As they hit my ankles, and Daniel realized he was still dry, he started to relax and laugh. Then I held him down so he could dip his fingers into the water. Soon enough he had squirmed off my hip to stand in the waves, jumping with my hands under his arms, helping him leap.
That’s our boy. He has his fears. He still shivers when he sees the Penny Pony at Shoppers, and he can’t understand why terrifying swings are included on otherwise fantastic playgrounds. But he can also be brave. He showed unimaginable courage when we met him in China 11 months ago. And watching him overcome his fear of the waves was one of the highlights of a fun-filled, exhausting vacation.
The next day, of course, we had a new problem. Daniel didn’t want to be anywhere except at the water’s edge. Even when a larger wave caught us unawares and he ended up with a mouthful of saltwater, he just laughed and said, “Again! Again!”
Too bad the next “again” will have to wait for next summer for our family of four. For now, we'll be enjoying our very own “Splashtown USA.”
Most of these photos were taken by my talented younger sister Treasa Beyer, who also knit the lovely beach blanket Daniel is sitting on.
July 22, 2012 10:38
By Rita Buettner