Sand play is a trademark childhood activity. Preschools and day cares across the world enjoy sand play in their classrooms.
Why? It is because sand play is a great way to explore texture, shape, fine motor manipulation and fun. Some other things you can play with are corn starch, flax seeds (a favorite, they sounds like rain sticks), even shaving cream.
I contend that it also offers some helpful benefits to the creative adult as well. Think of the popularity of the small zen tables you can buy to keep on your desk. Sand play encompasses the same idea of being meditative. The sand I used was taken directly from a beach and is sooo very soft to the touch. I find it immediately relaxing. I feel like I am at the beach just by sifting my hand through it, which is one of the reasons I personally love it so much. The beach is one of my favorite places to find peace and relaxation.
However, sand play also offers some creative and meditative practice for the adult as well. Start with sifting your fingers through it. Let it fall between your fingers. Draw in with your fingers. Then, add to the experience. Little desktop Zen gardens have small rakes. This requires a simple stick, in my case a piece of driftwood found on another beach. I let my mind focus only in the moment on the drawing in the sand. After a few minutes, I began adding other elements and created mandalas with glass, shells, and rocks. An excellent way to use 10 minutes to refocus, calm and center the spirit and bring out your creative soul. You can use anything with the sand. Some other tools include: spoons, sifters, colanders, measuring cups, glitter, (and adding glue creates a kind of kinetic sand that sort of sticks together). Go ahead and play.