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Open Access Environmental and psychological research on sandpits as children's play equipment, children's play, and the importance of sandpits in children's development and cultural creation

This article is Open Access under the terms of the Creative Commons CC BY licence.

Sandpits are commonly found in playgrounds but in a world full of high-tech entertainment is their role in the developmental growth of young children undervalued? Professor Hiroyuki Kasama, Doshisha Women's College, Japan, is exploring the impact of sandpits on children, including the role they can play in deepening the relationship between parent and child. Sandpits first came about in Europe in the mid-19th century but have recently become unfavourable to many parents who consider them to be 'dirty' play. However, playing with sand yields important benefits, including the use of natural materials and the fact it provides a valuable sensory experience that enables children to build on emotional, social and athletic skills. Kasama is investigating the important potential of sandpits as well as working on childcare and education programmes that use sandpits for learning. Kasama is keen to improve the sandpit environment by standardising the type of sand used in order to make play more effective and observing the suitability of the sand by observing children's play and the reactions of their caregivers. Kasama and the team have also supervised the installation of indoor sandpits that can be used year-round. Ultimately, by clarifying the significance and necessity of playing with sand and discovering its potential, Kasama is aiming to provide children with effective environments that promote growth and development.

Keywords: CHILDCARE TRAINING PROGRAMMES; CHILDREN; DEVELOPMENT; EDUCATION; EDUCATION PROGRAMMES; EMOTIONAL DEVELOPMENT; LEARNING; PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT; SAND PLAY; SANDPITS; SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2021

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