Why do it?

Children of all ages enjoy playing with sand, digging in the dirt and making mud pies.

During play, children learn new words and concepts like bigger, smaller, dry, wet, squashy and squelchy.

Small children enjoy playing with their hands — sifting, feeling and sometimes tasting.

How to do it

Plastic sand pits can be bought fairly cheaply. Old paddling pools are another idea – they might leak water but could still hold sand

If you want to make a sandpit, choose a sunny well-drained place and mark off a space of ground. Use lengths of wood, logs or driftwood to ‘contain’ the area.

Provide a few materials like sticks, spoons and plastic containers.

Provide water in a jug, plastic bottle and/or watering can, and a tin with holes nailed in the bottom for use as a sieve.

Make a cover to keep animals out. Maybe an old shower curtain held down in the corners with some heavy rocks or tucked under the sand pit itself.

Using more te reo Māori

Onēpu Sand
Oneone Earth, soil
Kari Digging
Hāpara A shovel
Pune Spoon
Koko A shovel or scoop
Tiaka Jug
Pākete Bucket
Rahi Big/large
Iti iho Smaller/less
Raumaroke To dry
Kūrarirari To be wet, sloshy
Pōharuharu To be muddy, boggy
Whakapakutia To make smaller
Tūpuni te onēpu Cover the sand
Hurahia te tūpuni Remove the covering
Kei te aha tēnei ra? What's the weather like today?
Kei te wera tēnei rā Today is hot
Horoia ō ringaringa Wash your hands