At this stage, your little tot is now in the mode of exploring things around him and he will love to play in the water and sand. Exposing your little one to such play will help him build developmental concepts and is very essential as a part of his overall motor and social skills development. It is generally seen in toddlers between 2 to 3 years.
What you need to know
When your little one first encounters a new play setting, he will continuously start exploring a novel material or an equipment before he actually plays with it. It is his way of determining whether it is safe to play with. But some parents who have not exposed their little one’s to such play will take some time to explore their new environment before beginning purposeful play.
For your sweetie pie, sand and water play, is considered as a practice time during which he develops useful physical, cognitive and social skills in an environment where mistakes and errors are considered inconsequential. The skills he learns from these kind of play, will be available to him as a resource for future use. But as a parent you should make sure an active adult supervision is a must during such play.
What you can do
Introduce your little one to use cups, spoons, containers in various sizes and shapes and ask him to scoop or fill in and pour out. Give him the opportunity to develop his imaginary play skills and starts exploring best ways to use the props in a safe way. Ask him to build structures with sand using small buckets. You can punch holes in a plastic bottle and ask him to fill water and observe the activity.
As you observe his play, introduce terms like more/less, many/few, empty/full, heavy/light. You can them ask him to count how many number of scoops of sand he takes to fill a cup. Make sure the sand and water play area remains free of any hurdles.