The BEACH is back and better than ever at Great Explorations Children’s Museum. We are thrilled to announce that the brand new Beth’s Beach at the Sandy Shack is open for the public to enjoy! This exhibit has been generously championed by longtime museum supporters Beth Houghton and Scott Wagman in honor of their children and grandchildren.
This unique, interactive, and much-beloved exhibit now features a beautiful, handcrafted Sandy Shack to enclose the beach and includes benches lining the exhibit where caretakers can comfortably dip their toes in the sand and continue to interact with the kids. The “sand” that makes up the beach is comprised of more than 2000 pounds of rubber supplied by American Recycling Center and is certified contaminant free. The Sandy Shack exhibit, including the sand, will receive the same loving care and cleaning procedures that we utilize both while we are open and nightly on all of our exhibits to ensure optimal health and safety standards for our guests.
There are many developmental benefits that come with playing at the new Beth’s Beach at the Sandy Shack exhibit. Fine motor skills are developed as children utilize small shovels to dig, buckets to fill and toys to maneuver through the sand. Sand play allows for the development of a sense of textures as children feel the unique rubber on their skin, the sensations as they bury their feet and legs, as well as sensing the contrast created with the surrounding wooden benches and carpet in the other portions of the exhibit. Language skills can be enhanced with opportunities to explore new words that might not otherwise be part of a regular day for a child. Playing in a limited space such as the beach allows children to develop social skills as they learn to problem solve, share and communicate while working alone or together to accomplish goals. Additionally, play experiences in a contained space like the Sandy Shack will help to build trust and confidence as little ones can feel safe to play independently, but still at a short distance from caretakers, reducing separation anxiety and promoting healthy caretaker-child attachment.