Kinetic sand is such a neat sensory experience for kids. It is fun to play with, sparks creativity, and offers great sensory input. I don’t know if you’ve noticed or not, but the kinetic sand in stores is expensive. Once your kids play in the sand for awhile (particularly if it’s in a classroom or day care and multiple children have their hands in it), it can get dirty. That means it needs to be thrown out. Which means you need to buy more. That’s why making your own kinetic sand is such a great option. You won’t believe how easy it is to make!
What is Kinetic Sand?
Kinetic sand is sand that has had ingredients added to it so that it becomes mouldable like clay. It continues to have the grainy properties of sand, creating an interesting texture experience.
It sticks to itself, much like wet sand at the beach. When you are on the shore making sand castles or sand sculptures, you need to add water to keep the structures from becoming too dry and crumbling. That is essentially the idea behind kinetic sand.
Kinetic Sand Recipe:
- 4 cups sand
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil
Mix the sand and flour together in a bowl.
Stir in the oil. Combine well.
It’s play time!
If the sand begins to dry out after a few weeks, you can mix in a few drops more of vegetable oil and give it a good stir. This diy kinetic sand is wonderfully mouldable. It is a sensory play recipe is so simple and cost effective. You can buy enough sand to make many recipes for the same cost as one pack of store bought kinetic sand.
You can also purchase sand in cool colours. This allows you to make coloured kinetic sand.
I put the sand in a bin and added some small construction vehicles and a scoop. This created a sensory bin that encouraged imaginative play. Even my teens enjoyed playing with this one. They especially liked packing it into small cups and creating mounds and then pushing them over with the toy steamroller. You could also use this sand to create a beach themed sensory bin with seashells, small sand toys, glass beads, and rocks.
Or you could simply dump it in a tray and let your child’s imagination lead the way. They can stamp in this sensory play material with cookie cutters or stamps. Kids can experiment with creating shapes. They can add small toys to create a small world. There are so many options.
For therapists, kinetic sand is an interesting material to use in sand trays. The proprioceptive sensory feedback kids receive from squishing and squeezing the sand can create a calming effect. You can still have the child add toys and play out scenes.
Once you know how to make kinetic sand and realize how easy it is, you’ll never need to buy it again!
Check out some of our other sensory play recipes: