I was originally hesitant to introduce Baobao to kinetic sand at 24 months for fear that she would try to eat it. Either that or she would avoid playing it due to the sensory feel of it.
Despite that, I gave her a packet of purple kinetic sand on her 2nd birthday. She liked it and asked for more colours. And so came the green, blue and red kinetic sand. Curiously, the way she played with the sand was very different from what I expected.
Play at 24 months (Sand)
She started playing with kinetic sand the way one would with regular sand. Moulding it into buckets and shapes to create sandcastles and sea creatures to place side by side. Pretty standard sand play.
Play at 25 months (Dough)
A month later, she progressed to cutting up the sand and rolling the sand out like playdoh. The sand was also pressed into moulds and cut from cookie cutters. Technically she was still playing within the means of kinetic sand – since it is after all part sand part dough.
Play at 26 months (Diorama)
This caught us by surprise. We had recently found some old figurines and gave them to her for play. She decided to integrate the figurines with her kinetic sand to create a diorama.
She explained that the purple area was the farm (koala, pig, rabbits and other creatures), the blue area was the river (penguin, duck, frog, whale). The red are was the mountain with a wolf next to it. The green area was the volcano. When questioned what the red round item on the volcano was, she explained that a planet had dropped down, and it was Mars.
Her next diorama consisted of figures from the SmartGames Little Red Riding Hood set. In the story, the big bad wolf was spying on Little Red Riding Hood from a river in the forest. She replicated the river, the forest, and the path from Little Red Riding Hood’s home to Grandma’s home. It is quite shocking how fast her imaginative play had progressed in two short months.