Preschool Inspirations

The world is their playground!

A Summer Keepsake

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Sand Footprints

There are 17 days left of summer, and I am for sure savoring each and every day! One of our favorite traditions each summer is to visit Nebraska and spend time at Lake McConaughy. It has a nice beachy feel to it, and our kids have a blast camping out there. Back when my daughter was a baby, a family member of ours introduced us to her family tradition of making a plaster of paris mold of her children’s footprints each summer. She made one for our daughter, and I have treasured it since! This year we decided to do it again, and they turned out so sweet.

sand footprints

It is a fairly easy process. You just need moist sand and some plaster of paris. We used the sand from the beach, but I think a sand box or container with sand would work just fine. The important factor is to have sand with enough moisture to make a mold out of your child’s foot. Once you get a good mold, the rest is a breeze. Here’s how we did it!

We dug up a pile of sand and helped our daughter gently place her foot in it. You certainly can help make the mold more defined by using your finger to shape it if your little one is not the most cooperative.

Sand footprint

Then we mixed up some plaster of paris. I used 3 cups of plaster and 1 1/2 cup of water, and there was some left over. You may need more or less depending on how small or big your child’s foot is. Then we poured it into the mold. It works best if it’s slightly runny, otherwise you may need to smooth it out on the top.


Next, I sprinkled sand on top so that when it all dried, it would have a consistent sandy look.

Sand footprints

After about 10 minutes, I wrote their initials and the year in it.

sand footprints

I let it dry for about 45 minutes, and then I took out my kiddo’s precious footprints.

Sand footprints

I certainly love how sentimental these are! While we probably won’t do them every year, I do foresee many summers with more footprints to come.


Author: Katie

My name is Katie, and I have been an early childhood educator for over 12 years. I am passionate about child development and teaching children with the most relevant methods available. I have "retired" from working in a preschool center setting, and now I teach at my licensed in home preschool. I believe in inspiring other parents, teachers, and caregivers to provide the most appropriate and exciting learning experiences we can offer to our children.

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