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Can you use kinetic sand in a sandbox?

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Kinetic sand is different from 'ordinary' sand. It consists of 98% 'ordinary' sand, and the remaining 2% are binders.

These binders give the sand a loose structure. You can make shapes with the sand, but if you squeeze it properly, it will fall apart.

You can use the sand to clay and build. After playing clean up the sand again.

When we talk about sand, we quickly think of a sandbox.

Is kinetic sand suitable for the sandbox?

As a parent you probably know the situation: your child has once again been tossing and turning in the sandbox and comes home with sand in his shoes and clothes.

If you want to prevent this, kinetic sand is the solution. It works well in the sandbox and has the advantages that it offers even more creative play options, is more exciting to play with and is also easier to clean up than normal sandbox sand.

Now what kid doesn't love it have fun playing (and getting dirty) in the sandbox?!

Also read: Best Sandbox | the top 8 from small turtle to large boat

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Advantages of kinetic sand in the sandbox

Kinetic sand can be a great addition to any sandbox as it offers many benefits to children's play and learning.

By providing a unique sensory experience, Kinetic Sand encourages children to use their imagination and creativity in ways that regular sand cannot.

Because the sand is more malleable and stickier than traditional sand, more intricate creations and structures can be built with it, which helps with the development of fine motor skills.

In addition, kinetic sand is easier for younger children to manipulate because it is non-toxic, soft in texture, and flows like liquid when pressed or kneaded from one hand to the other.

In addition, it does not leave crumbs like ordinary sand, because it does not dry out quickly.

In fact, you can easily remove it from surfaces such as clothing or furniture without worrying about the mess.

The dense composition of the kinetic sand also promotes the sense of touch, as each grain has a unique shape that feels different from ordinary beach or play sand.

In addition, this type is sand easy to clean with a vacuum cleaner or simply wash it off with water after playtime is over.

Find the 7 best “Magic” kinetic sand playsets reviewed here [& tips]

Three sand types

To fill sandboxes, three types of sand are generally used: natural sand, processed sand and kinetic sand.

All three sand types offer different structures.

Natural sand

Natural sand usually comes straight from the beach or the desert. This sand is naturally formed from rocks.

As a result, natural sand is coarser than processed or kinetic sand. Before the sand is sold, it is washed and filtered. 

Processed sand

Processed sand is made in gravel pits and grooves.

Because the sand here is also thoroughly washed and filtered, it is clean and safe for children to play with.

However, some products may still contain quartz dust, which can be harmful if much is inhaled.

It is recommended to avoid these types of products and to go for quartz-free sand.

Kinetic sand

Kinetic sand is coated with polydimethylsiloxane, which is a silicone-based non-toxic organic polymer also used in clay products.

This layer ensures that the sand sticks together and becomes malleable. You can build with the sand without needing water.

The difference with the other sands above is that kinetic sand is sold in smaller quantities and is more expensive. 

Why is kinetic sand suitable for sandboxes?

To make kinetic sand ready for sale, it will undergo a number of processes.

It is cleaned and filtered, and then a layer of polydimethylsiloxane is applied.

This layer makes the sand smooth and soft, making it easy to shape and knead. It does not require water.

The coating also ensures that the sand is easier to clean up than other types of sand.

That's because the sand sticks to itself, not the table, the floor, or your kids' hands.

That's why it's so easy to clean up the sand after playing. 

The grains of kinetic sand are larger than the grains of natural or processed sand.

Due to these larger grains and polydimethylsiloxane layer, the sand will not produce dust when played with.

This also makes the sand safer for children who have breathing problems or are sensitive to airborne dust.

How much sand do I need for my sandpit?

To determine how much sand you need for your sandpit, you can take the following steps:

  1. First measure the size (length and width) of your sandbox. Do you have a round sandbox? Then measure the diameter. 
  2. Decide how deep you want the sand. If you don't know, you can use 0,5 meters x 0,5 meters. That usually works well.
  3. Then you take the length, width and height of the sandbox to determine the volume. Volume = length x width x height. In the case of a round sandpit, calculate the volume with π xr^2 xh, where π = 3,14, r = the radius (half the diameter) squared, and h = height or depth you want for your sandbox.

An example: suppose your sandbox is 5 x 5 meters and you want to fill the sandbox for half a meter with sand.

Then the total volume you need is: 5 x 5 = 25, 25 x 0,5 = 12,5 cubic meters of sand. 

If you have a round sandbox with a diameter of 4 meters and you want to fill the sandbox for half a meter with sand, you need 3,14 x 2^2 x 0,5 = 6,28 m3 of sand.

How can I maintain sand in a sandbox?

You have to maintain the sand in a sandbox well. You can do this by raking it occasionally and checking it for insects or animal droppings.

It is best to keep your sandbox covered. However, if the sand got wet, let it dry before covering it.

In addition, it is recommended to replace the sand every year or every two years.

What is the best type of sand for a sandpit?

The best type of sand for a sandbox is sand that is non-toxic and does not contain quartz. Children can play safely with it.

In addition to the sand having to be safe, it is nice to go for a product that also looks attractive.

For example, think of colored sand. That said, kinetic sand is a great solution!

Turn the sandpit into a real construction site with the nicest toy trucks

Always something to do for the holidays or rainy day?

Play Choice now has the ultimate activity book collection, with over 60 pages of fun coloring pages and educational puzzles.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Speelkeuze.nl is a content marketer, father and loves trying out new toys. As a child he came into contact with everything related to games when his mother started the Tinnen Soldaat in Ede. Now he and his team create helpful blog articles to help loyal readers with fun play ideas.