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If You Build it They Will Come

Your child can learn a lot about the characteristics of natural materials by manipulating and building with mixtures of sand, dirt, water, and other natural items he finds in the environment. Give your child some water, several buckets and a spoon for mixing, and invite him to build tiny houses for real or imaginary creatures. Encourage him to experiment with different combinations of dirt, sand, and water to find the combination that makes the sturdiest structure. How can rocks and other materials like sticks, twigs, and grass be used to help support the structure?

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Bunny Balance

In this game, the bigger the bunny, the heavier it is — but don't forget to let your kids know that's not always true in the real world.

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Sand Castle, by Brenda S. Yee.

Beach Day, by Karen Roosa.