There are so many ways to keep the kids entertained during stormy weather. The problem is that they fly through most activities fairly quickly and then parents are left with, “I’m bored.” My kids love sand art for some reason. I have huge tubs of different colored sand and plenty of plastic bottles, necklaces, and containers to use. This is one activity that holds their attention. They really concentrate and focus to make their artwork as nice as they can. I have representations literally all over the house from snowmen to ducks to pumpkins and everything in between.
I wondered why this activity kept my kids so engaged for so long so I decided to do a couple of my own the last time they worked with sand art. We were using different geometric shaped containers and I realized right away that this process might be therapeutic. Different colors represent different emotions. Before I started, I looked at the colors. When I looked at the black sand, I saw depression and confusion. When my eyes caught the bright yellow, it was uplifting. I wondered what colors the kids would go for in their work. As you can see, they filled their jars with all light, bright colors. They did this project a few months ago during the hurricane. I asked them why they chose those colors and they both said because it made them feel good and they both said it reminded them of summer. I filled one jar with navy blue and white sand. Those colors made me think of boats, nautical elements, and stripes and being on vacation. I filled another one with red and green sand. I thought of Christmas and family and home. I’m sure that using crayons or painting with these colors would evoke the same feelings. But, there is something about lining up the colors and switching them, interchanging them, watching them take shape in the bottle that is calming. It is calming for me and it must be for the kids too because they literally spent two hours on this project. They were not fighting, yelling, kicking or screaming. They didn’t even argue over the sand colors. If one was using a color, the other just waited their turn. I also noticed the care each child took to use the sand neatly. They picked up as much as they could if any spilled. They closed the lids after they were done with a color because they didn’t want to take a chance on the sand falling on the ground. Who knew such a simple concept could accomplish more than just keeping the kids busy during a storm? Who knew that concept could actually change your mood? I do now, and, who knows, I may break out their stuff and use it the next time I feel stressed and depressed.