Especially during COVID-19 lockdowns, it can be tough to get to the beach. Beaches are a great sensory environment for little kids. There are shells to find, sand to build with, and the sensation of water. The Ocean and Beach Sensory Box from Creativity Kids brings those experiences home, letting your kids experience a “beach” visit indoors (or ideally in the backyard).
The box itself is a smallish plastic container with a reusable lid. Inside are a variety of sensory objects. There’s kinetic sand, real rocks, toy ocean animals, and little sand figure mounds. There are also several small shovels and a pack of water beads.
The water beads are especially cool. You soak them in water for about 3 hours, and they expand dramatically in size, becoming like little squishy marbles. They don’t exactly exude water, but if your kid touches or mushes them, they feel wet to the touch.
How to Play
All those objects together provide a variety of sensory experiences. The water beads are cool and smudgy. The sand is grainy and easy to form into structures using the animal molds. The rocks are heavy and solid. The box provides lots of fun things to touch and explore that keep your kid engaged and playing.
If they’re organized (and a bit older), they can mound all the sand towards one side of the box, put the rocks in the middle to create a divider, and then make a big pile of water beads on the other side of the box. That gives the whole thing the feel of a little beach. They can also just mush everything together into a big, fun jumble, which is probably the most likely outcome.
My only gripe with the box is the fact that it definitely has the potential to create a big mess. The sand can get everywhere if you’re not careful, and the water beads are tempting to throw around the house or smush under a little one’s feet. If you’re able, I’d recommend playing with the box outside, or in an easy-to-clean place like the bathtub.
The Ocean and Beach sensory box is designed for kids 3 and up. The little water beads are probably too tempting to eat for kids younger than that, and there are definitely small parts in the box which could be a choking hazard. That said, I think the tiny items in there are great for fine motor skills practice for slightly older kids.
For older kids (or even an adult secretly looking for a Zen-garden-like experience), the box is a great fit.
Want to buy one? Check out the California Dad Reviews store on DIY Life Tech’s Amazon page. I may receive a commission if you make a purchase there, which supports my reviews at no cost to you.