Stories & Sensory Tables: Exploring Sand + Sandcastles

Stories & Sensory Tables: Exploring Sand + Sandcastles

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Studies show that sensory table play can be calming, and provide an opportunity for children to work on their fine motor skills, creativity, and social skills- if they are playing at the sensory table with another child. In addition to these, sensory tables can also help develop literacy skills as children retell a story and bring it to life using items at the table! They are great for both home and classroom learning environments!

Story: The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Written by Megan Maynor, illustrated by Kate Berube

Who would have thought that building a sandcastle at the beach would also invite the opportunity to practice kindness, thoughtfulness, and problem-solving skills? In this story it does!

Lola quickly becomes a fantastic role model for our little readers – as she creatively invites kids who accidentally bump into her sandcastle masterpiece to become new friends that share in the wonder and joy of a day at the beach. This sweet story reminds us of the value of teamwork and the importance of creative play outdoors. After reading, your little ones will be anxious to start building their very own “tall, tall tower”! 

This is a great way to give your child the opportunity for sand play at home without committing to a full sandbox.

Sensory Table: Exploring Sand + Sandcastles

A summer time version of Sensory Table- Exploring Snow from WinterKids’ GOAL Maine Preschool Edition

Procedure: After reading The Sandcastle That Lola Built, add kinetic sand to your sensory table or to a medium sized storage bin. Model how to fill sandcastle molds and tip them over to make sand castle pieces and use terminology from the story. Children can make sandcastles using the castle molds, shovels, seashells, etc. and freely explore the sand and seashells. Invite them to use language from the story The Sandcastle That Lola Built as they build and describe their castles.

Variation: Add measuring cups and encourage children to make comparisons.

Vocabulary: Sand, sandcastle, tower, wall, moat, surrounds, protects, shells, sea glass, scoop, pat, full, empty, measuring, building

  • Sensory table or a medium sized storage container
  • Kinetic sand, natural sand color
  • Tiny sand castle molds
  • Small shovels and sand rakes
  • Seashells
  • Measuring cups
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Find more activities like this for your classroom or family in our WinterKids Guide to Active Outdoor Learning (GOAL) for Pre-K & Elementary!


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Students, Teachers, and Families Impacted in Maine & New Hampshire since 2010!

WinterKids is the only nonprofit in Maine dedicated exclusively to increasing outdoor physical activity in children and families during our longest, most sedentary season.  

The shorter, darker, and colder days of winter and the increasing allure of screen time make it all too easy for kids and families to “hibernate.”  At WinterKids, we make it our business to provide kids, parents, and teachers with the right option: to get outside, get active, and have fun in the winter – and year-round.

Outdoor kids are active kids. Active kids are healthy kids. Healthy kids are happy kids. Happy kids are “winter kids.”



With outside being the safest and best place to be, WinterKids has truly thrived during the pandemic! We were able to reach nearly 27,000 kids, teachers and families in Maine and New Hampshire with creative adaptations for safe, outdoor adventures. Check out our 2020/2021 Season Wrap Up Report!

annual report


We are so thankful for our WinterKids Family – sponsors, foundations, teams, friends, volunteers, board and staff – and most important, the KIDS we serve. 2020 was a fantastic year for our organization, reaching over 35,000 (!) kids, family members, and teachers with innovative, outdoor education programs.