How to Make Happy Faces in a Sand Tray

Happy Face Sand Tray

Big Owl Little Owl welcomes you to the Virtual Book Club for Kids – this week we read Should I Share My Ice Cream by Mo Williems.  This is a great book for exploring friendships, sharing and moral dilemmas with preschoolers!

The book starts with Gerald the Elephant buying his favourite ice cream and his dilemma over whether to share it with his best friend Piggie.  We love the different emotions expressed in the simple text and illustrations.  We decided to practise drawing  faces in a sand tray as our activity this week.


Drawing Faces in the Sand

This is an easy way to have fun whilst practising our fine motor skills for writing, learning to form the basic shapes of the face and being able to talk about emotions as well.

Materials & Equipment

play sand   coloured tray or paper plate   paintbrush   stick or blunt pencil

Making Happy Faces in Sand Activity

First, choose a coloured plate or tray and add a layer of play sand .  Then, demonstrate how you can use your finger or a stick to draw a face in the sand.  Next, let your child copy you by placing their fingers in the sand.  Finally, allow them to make their own faces in the sand.  The coloured tray or plate should show through the sand as it is pushed around.

We were able to talk about different shapes on the face through self-observation as well as practising those fine motor skills which is vital for prewriting and early writing.  It also gives a great opportunity to talk about the characters in the book and how they were feeling, as well as beginning to explore how different emotions can be expressed through facial expressions.


Virtual Book Club 2016-2017


We are thrilled to be a co-host for the Virtual Book Club organised by Rainy Day Mum, The Educators Spin on It and Toddler Approved.  Join us on a weekly basis, where we read a book and do a related activity as well.

We would LOVE to have you join the Virtual Book Club for Kids too! Just read the book and do an apple themed activity with your kids! Be sure to join us at the VBC Facebook page too! If you want more details about the VBC (including a list of upcoming books), click here.

Always interested in writing, reading and learning in general. I love the quirky and unusual! All thoughts are my own!

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