Can’t make it to the beach? Bring the beach indoors with Spin Master’s new “Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom.” Every parent and therapist should appreciate their box design that transforms into a sand box, keeping this activity self-contained. Kids have 3 pounds of kinetic sand to mold, shape, rake or shovel to create their castle kingdom. With 2 tools and 6 moulds (towers, castle tops, a bridge and wall) kids can design a formidable castle and even dig a moat. Kinetic sand feels like the real thing but doesn’t stick to your hands or dry out so it is perfect for creating a scene for pretend play. Bring your kingdom characters to the setting or mould your own for a unique story where the child is the author. Bedsides building reading and writing skills through storytelling, play sand can be a powerful tool for a therapist or parent engaging and playing with a child with special needs.  Squishing, squeezing and forming sand into props for pretend play provides sensory input that can help a child regulate his sensory system and be more available for learning as well as create fun props for language learning through story telling. Research has shown that children with autism who engaged in sand play showed increased verbal expression, sustained social interaction and spontaneous novel play (Lu, Petersen, Lacroix and Rousseau).

Available in August at Walmart and Amazon