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In an Exchange article, "Sand, Sand, Sand," Rusty Keeler, author of the popular new book Adventures in Risky Play: What is Your Yes? muses...
"Ever wonder why so many images of ‘paradise’ show palm trees, ocean waves, and a sandy beach? It’s the endless mud pie, sand castle, and sand sculpture possibilities, of course! Infinite fun and creativity. Just what you want in paradise, right? And just what you want for your children when they go outside everyday — to have rich materials and loose parts for constructive collaborations and discoveries of nature.
We want children to have the freedom to create their own worlds, structure their own play, and change their environments according to their ideas and inspirations. We do this by saying 'yes' and offering spaces and materials that invite spontaneous creativity. Loose parts in your playscape do this and sand, yes, humble sand, is the ultimate loose part. Children can mold, sift, sculpt, dig, and pile. Through the pouring and sifting of sand, they see cosmic properties of the planet. They touch the universe in a grain of sand and the sand creations they make reflect their imagination and spirit."
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