Kinetic Sand is the most magical sensorial material that your kids (and you!) can lay hands-on. It is soft, silky, moldable and yet flows like a fluid at the same time!
However, what can be even more magical than holding it, is making homemade kinetic sand yourself! Kinetic Sand is relatively easy to make at home and definitely way cheaper.
If you are looking for affordable ways to get your hands on this magic sand, we strongly suggest you make kinetic sand at home.
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Learning how to make kinetic sand at home is quite a science activity for children. Your children will love lending you a helping hand at making this magical sand and in the process pick a lot of STEM skills.
What is Kinetic Sand
Kinetic sand is a soft silky sand that can be molded easily. Unlike the beach sand, it has more moisture and feels like very soft, grainy play dough.
Kinetic Sand is a dry, squishy material that can be squeezed easily. Also called Magic sand, it provides an unbeatable sensory experience and is a must to include in your child’s sensory play.
Related: Make sure to try Oobleck. No sensorial activities are complete without children playing with Oobleck!
It is less messy than other sensory materials and easier to clean, which makes it a favourite with parents and teachers.
Related: Another sensorial material that is a favourite with all kids is playdough. Make it at home with this easy Playdough recipe and let your kids have fun.
How To Make Kinetic Sand At Home
Making Kinetic Sand at home is not only fun but also a hands-on science activity for kids. While making their own kinetic sand, children will pick a lot of math skills besides working on their fine motor skills.
There are two recipes we are sharing. Choose the one that interests you most.
2 Ingredients Kinetic Sand Recipe
What you will need:
How to Make it:
Step 1: Add 1 Tbsp. clear slime into the bin.
Step 2: Pour 1 cup of sand into the slime and mix it well. You may need to add more sand so that the sand is no longer sticky and easily moldable. If it is too dry, add a little more slime to reach the desired texture.
That’s it! Your classic kinetic sand is ready!
Related: Learn how to Make Slime At Home with our easy recipe. Your kids will love it!
DIY Kinetic Sand Without Slime
Kinetic Sand Recipe supplies:
1 Cup of fine play sand – Easily available at craft stores
1 Tbsp. Cornstarch
1 Tbsp. Water
1 Tsp. Dish soap
1/4 Tsp. Coloring (optional)
2 Mixing Bowls
How to Make it:
Step 1: Bake the sand for 4-5 hours at 120 degrees. This ensures that there is no moisture in the sand. If the sand you’ve got is dry, you can skip this step.
Step 2: In a mixing bowl, combine the sand and cornstarch.
Step 3: In a separate bowl, gently mix dish soap, water, and food coloring. Do not allow excessive bubbles to form.
Step 4: Add the dish soap and water solution to the sand and cornstarch mixture.
Step 5: Mix well with your hands until you get the desired consistency. You may need more water to get the perfect texture.
Here you go! You have the perfect DIY Kinetic sand recipe! This Kinetic sand is different from traditional kinetic sand available at the stores in the way it moves.
Related: Also try your hands at Puffy Paints! They are far more interesting than regular paints and are sure to add a sensorial dimension to your child’s artwork.
There are several different ways to make kinetic sand at home. While we have used dish soap and water, some recipes use liquid starch and even slime. Feel free to try other recipes as well.
DIY Kinetic Sand Recipe Tips
● Sand – You can make your kinetic sand with any type of sand. Regular sand from the hardware store or fine beach sand, both work well.
You can use colored sand instead of fine beach sand if you wish to add vibrant colors to the sensory experience. Whatever sand you choose, just make sure before starting that the sand is absolutely dry.
● Cornstarch – Cornstarch is highly recommended because of its silkiness. In a pinch, you can replace it with flour instead of cornstarch.
● Coloring – Avoid food coloring as it can stain hands. Instead, use high-quality paint coloring but for the edible version you must go with food coloring.
● Dish Soap – Make sure to use good quality dish soap, and avoid regular hand wash liquid soap.
Is Kinetic Sand Toxic?
Our recipe is non-toxic though it is still not edible or taste safe as it uses sand. Adult supervision is recommended to prevent ingestion of kinetic sand.
And if you are looking to get your younger children or toddlers to enjoy kinetic sand, and fancy an edible kinetic sand recipe, then you can try the edible DIY kinetic sand recipe.
Edible Kinetic Sand Recipe
Much like the traditional recipe, the edible version is also easy to make and much fun to play with. It is a great addition to sensory bins and is sure to get your preschooler excited.
This is a taste safe version but we still recommend adult supervision while your young kids play with it.
Edible Kinetic Sand Recipe Ingredients
● 1 Cup Baking Soda
● 1/2 Cup Sugar
● 1/2 Cup Corn Starch
● 1 Tbsp. Cream of Tartar
● 1/4 Cup of Water
● Food coloring – optional
How To Make Edible Kinetic Sand
Step 1: Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl (baking soda + sugar + cornstarch + cream of tartar)
Step 2: In a separate bowl/container, mix the water along with food coloring of your choice.
Step 3: Now while mixing the bowl of dry ingredients, keep adding the water and food coloring solution little by little until the right consistency is reached.
The above ingredients should get you about a handful of kinetic sand, but if you want to scale things up, then you can use the ratio of 2:1:1, for baking soda, sugar, and cornstarch.
Using ratios even if you use a cup, scoop, or any other container, you can still get the mixture right!
Based on the consistency you like, add more or lesser amounts of tartar and water than mentioned above. Allow your kids to take control of the making process.
Let them choose the colors, measure the ingredients, do the mixing, decide what should be added to get the right consistency, etc.
These little things they do will help them develop skills that will aid them do more complicated tasks in the future!
How To Store Kinetic Sand?
You can store leftover kinetic sand for future use in an airtight container like a plastic zip bag or a plastic container with a cover. Try to use a box that is not too deep and hence easier to pull out sand from by young kids.
Does Kinetic Sand Dry Out Over Time?
Store bought kinetic sand doesn’t dry out as it has moist silicone oil coating on it. Our homemade kinetic sand recipe, on the other hand, is similar to homemade moon sand or play dough and hence will dry out over time.
However, if it becomes too dry a few droplets of water will freshen it.
How To Play With Kinetic Sand?
Playing with kinetic sand is a lot of fun. Kids do not need to go to the beach every time they want to be building sand castles! Instead they can make them indoors at home anytime, much like any other indoor activity for kids!
Here are some cool and exciting ideas on how your kids can play with kinetic sand:
● Let your kids bring in their favourite animal figurines and stomp them around in the kinetic sand. Think of miniature toy dinosaurs, African animals and creepy crawlies leaving footprints and kids identifying animals with their track marks.
● Allow your kids to cut through this magic sand with plastic knives from a play kitchen set. It is almost therapeutic to slice it!
● Bring out a small rolling pin, dough cutters and cookie cutters to play with. This sand can be rolled out and is super fun to cut into shapes.
● Use an ice cream scoop to scoop up sand to make sand balls or an ice cream sundae.
● Explore thematic learning by pairing a book along with some hand-on toys and loose parts. How about learning interesting animal facts by clubbing animal molds with kinetic sand and an appropriate book?
Kinetic sand is a terrific sensory exercise that can be quite soothing for kids across all ages. Part of what makes this magic sand so incredible is the mind boggling fluid-like feeling of sand.
It is way easier to clean up than regular play sand and hence ideal for indoor play. Its unique qualities are believed to help reduce anxiety among kids, especially if they are nearing the end of vacation or have exams coming up.