A Few Things about Sand

Our theme for Summer Reading this year was “Dig Up a Good Book,” and we held a few programs that tied into this theme.  Our most recent digging program consisted of bringing a sandbox into the library and having children 10 years of age and under dig for buried treasure.


We used a coworker’s plastic kiddie pool as our sandbox, and we bought play sand from Wal*Mart to fill it up.  We hid little plastic bracelets in the sand for the kids to find.  Each child was allowed to find one bracelet, and each color bracelet corresponded to a different prize.


Prize #1:  A plastic sand bucket (courtesy of Target) filled with candy, bookmarks, and another bracelet.

Prize #2:  A plastic sand bucket (of the Target variety) filled with two coloring books and a box of crayons.

Prize #3:  A plastic sand bucket (from, you guessed it, Target) and a free book.

***The children were also allowed to keep the bracelet that they found in the sand.***


We had about 70 people show up for this program, parents included.  We held it in a meeting room and everyone was lined up by the door before we even started.  When we opened the doors, we had them stay in their line as they came into the room, and we allowed one family at a time to come up and dig.  We had small shovels for the children to use to dig so that they wouldn’t get their hands dirty and most of the children found a bracelet in under a minute.  Once they found a bracelet, they dropped it into a small bucket of water to clean it, then we told them which prize they won.

Overall, I think the program was a success.  It was definitely a short program, especially from the patron’s point of view (since most of the time was spent standing in line), but everyone was very happy with the prizes and the children really enjoyed digging in sand, even if it was for only a few minutes.


  • We bought 6 bags of sand, but only used 5 and could probably have gotten away with only 4.  All together, the sand cost less than $50.
  • We originally planned for this program to be outside, but we ended up having it inside due to the heat.  I think it works well inside because people were comfortable and we had tables to set up the prizes on.  This program isn’t nearly as dirty as you might think; most of the sand stayed in the kiddie pool, and the few accidents we had were easy to clean up with a broom and dust pan.
  • It took longer to arrange the prizes in an aesthetically pleasing manner on the tables than it did to fill the pool up with sand and hide the bracelets.
  • For clean up, we just scooped the sand back into the bags that they came in and used book tape to tape the bags shut.  A little bit of sand was left over in the pool, and we just dumped that outside.
  • Target is our friend.

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