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Dig up some sandy, dandy projects

SHARE Dig up some sandy, dandy projects

Scoop up some sand and enjoy these fun, slightly messy projects this summer.

Preschoolers love to play archaeologist when they look for hidden objects in the backyard sandbox. Before they play, bury small, plastic, age-appropriate toys, vehicles, charms, buttons and shells in the sand, then let them dig for the treasures with wooden spoons. Use sieves to sift sand and uncover small objects.

Whether in a sandbox or at the beach, plastic 2-liter soda or water bottles with label removed can be turned into practical sand toys. Cut the bottle smoothly in half around the middle and decorate with permanent markers or paint with squeeze bottles. The top makes a handy funnel! Use the bottom half as a scoop for digging or as a form for packing damp sand for making castles.

Color white sand for sand art. Bring home a bucket of clean white sand from the beach or purchase a bag at a hardware or craft store. Mix several drops of food coloring with water in an old jar. Pour desired quantity of sand into the water mixture, stir and let stand for a few minutes. Pour out liquid, then shake out colored sand on several layers of newspapers. Let dry. The color will get lighter as it dries. Make several batches to create different colors. Store in separate plastic bags or containers.

Use colored sand to make cool, wavy designs in wide-mouthed baby-food jars (labels removed). Pour layers of sand in the jar, alternating colors. Between layers, insert a sharp pencil or skewer down into the sand around the edges of the jar to form an interesting landscape. Continue until the jar is filled.

Extra idea: Create sand designs in a larger jar, leaving the top half empty. Set a votive candle in the jar, nestled in the sand, for an eye-catching candleholder.

Web site: www.donnasday.com © Donna Erickson