Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On work, fun and sandboxes

As we move through the month of Tishrei, now at Sukkot, I must say that holidays are always great and meaningful and include a lot of time spent together as a family - so important - but they also mean we are operating on a very tight schedule. There's a lot of feverish cooking and cleaning going on those in-between days which aren't actually a holy day or Shabbat, not to mention a lot of washing accumulating by-and-by. 

In addition, we are now harvesting olives - for the delicious homemade preserves my husband is going to make - and figs in abundance. It might look as though we are going to have a surplus of figs for drying or making jam, neither of which I've tried and both of which are interesting possibilities.

And... some other little thing that has been on my mind. We spent the first day of Sukkot with family, and in the morning I took my girls to a nice playground we like to visit, which included, as I recalled, a lovely big sandbox. Well, you can imagine my disappointment when I saw that the soft golden sand is gone and replaced by a surface made from recylced rubber. 

This is a trend that I've noticed in many places in Israel lately - sandboxes being replaced by recycled rubber. I'm not sure why this is happening; perhaps because recylced rubber is the trendy ecological thing; perhaps because in some places, stray cats use sandboxes as toilets; perhaps because parents are clamoring for "neater" play - and I must say, it does give me a twinge of sadness every time to hear mothers scold, "don't touch the sand!" - either way, I'm convinced there's nothing like sand for children to be creative with, to dig in and build and "cook" with. I'm voting for the return of the old-fashioned sandbox, and perhaps will discuss with my husband the option of having something like this one in our yard. 


Laura Jeanne said...

This is a trend all over - perhaps cost has something to do with it, since play sand can actually be expensive, I don't know - but here where I live in Canada all the sand started being replaced with gravel or rubber everywhere. I don't know why gravel - kids throw it at each other, and larger pieces are a choking hazard. So some of the gravel has been replaced with a much smaller gravel, but still - why no sand?

A sandbox is an easy project for your husband to make though. My husband made a large sandbox in the back yard of our previous house, and our children absolutely loved it. I did not mind the sand that would inevitably get tracked into the house when I knew how much good quality fun they were having.

Anonymous said...

Synthetic sand?? What is this world coming to? We brought back a small amount from the ocean beach recently to use in arrangements w/candles and shells. So white, fine and lovely.
Mrs. L.

Lady Anne said...

My dad built a sandbox for my sister and me, and we spent hours in there, using over-turned toy cups to make houses for the ants, with roads and little cars, dressing clothes pegs in hollyhock petals. We bought a big plastic turtle for our grandchildren, with a shell-shaped lid to keep out both water and cats. All I can say is the people who put in these chopped rubber monstrosities never asked any child about them!

Anonymous said...

When I was small there was a rash of unpleasent things happening in sandpits - I wasn't allowed to play in the one in my local park because some people let their dogs run loose and leave messes in there, and a child in another city found a syringe. I've seen others with broken glass in them. Maybe the trend is as a result of this? Mum dug a hole in the back garden and sunk my babybath into it, filled it with sand, and hey presto - my very own sandpit!


Anonymous said...

My husband didn't want me putting a full size sandbox in our small yard, but I found a good alternative. I don't know if you have access to anything like it, but I bought two flat plastic bins for very cheap (around $5 here) that have snap on lids. I filled them with play sand and the kids can even keep their toys in there - and it's safe from cats, portable to sun or shade as needed, etc. It's not as fun as a whole sandbox, but my 4 and 5 year old can spend hours at them at a time. (And if needed, I can separate the kids as well so they each have their own space, if they're in a snappish mood to one another.)