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“Magic” Kinetic Sand: 7 Best Playsets Reviewed & Tips

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  December 28, 2021

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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.

Sand is this year's hit among educational toys. Yes-yes, sand! But not the sand you can find in the backyard, but the kind of sand you should buy at the store.

It really is a fantastic thing! Children and adults love it. Today there are different types of sand on the market: kinetic, living, moon and hydrophobic.

Today I want to talk about kinetic sand.

Cutest magical kinetic sand

It is a known fact that children can play with sand for hours on end. Now they can do it at home, indoors!

You can make a small sandbox at home that you can easily store. Kinetic sand looks like wet fine sand from the beach, but then it's dry.

It's quite dense and heavy. It can be kept in good shape. The sand does not stick to hands or leave oily stains and it is completely safe.

My favorite basic set to start with is this one from Relevant Play where you get 5 kg of material that your children can use to make fun structures and more.

You can also do with less, the brand also has a 1 kilo pack, but it really saves a lot in bulk and then they can build quite a bit.

I also have a number of packages with bins or figures to make, and although that is really nice, I already got some figures from normal sandbox toys so I thought that was fine.

But yes, you really have everything you can do with it. For example, one of the nicest toy cars we have reviewed these Monster Trucks with Kinetic sand as a race track.

I'll show you my top picks in a quick overview first, then I'll go into each of these top picks in more detail, as well as discuss what makes it “magical,” plus some tips for making your own if you like.

These are the top picks:

Kinetic sandImages
Best basic set: Relevant Play Kinetic SandBest Magnetic Sand Relevant Play Kinetic Sand

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Best kinetic sand playset: Kinetic Sand construction siteBest Kinetic Sand Playset: Kinetic Sand Construction Site

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Best kinetic sand box: Kinetic Sand Super sandboxBest Kinetic Sandbox: Kinetic Sand Super Sandbox
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Cutest colored Kinetic sand: National geographic play sandNicest colored Kinetic sand: National geographic play sand

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Cutest kinetic sand auto box: Hot Wheels Monster Jam Dirt Deluxe SetCutest kinetic sand car box Hotwheels Monster Jam Dirt Deluxe Set

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Cutest Kinetic sand figures: Spinmaster Kinetic Sand Paw PatrolCutest Kinetic Sand Figures: Spinmaster Kinetic Sand Paw Patrol

 

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Best glitter sand: Shimmering Magic Sand from Kinetic SandKinetic sand with glitter

 

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How does “magic” kinetic sand work?

The secret is a special polymer that helps achieve these functions.

Unlike other types of sand, the kinetic sand is not 'afraid' of the water in the sense that it then becomes a different substance, such as with mud.

If there is contact with moisture, it is enough to dry the sand and it is ready to be used again.

There is no need to keep the sand in a closed container as there is no liquid in it and it simply cannot dry out.

It should not be mixed with ordinary sand, soil and other pollutants as the kinetic sand will lose its “magical” properties.

Top 6 best kinetic sand packs reviewed

Below we will review the most popular kinetic sand kits from different manufacturers:

Best Basic Set: Relevant Play Kinetic Sand

It is high quality kinetic sand from a popular manufacturer. This kit contains 5 kg of kinetic sand.

Best Magnetic Sand Relevant Play Kinetic Sand

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This amount is enough to build everything your child wants! The kinetic sand is supplied in five separate packages of one kilogram each.

And you can use it with all your usual sand molds and scoops and toys, as I did in the photo.

This kit offers good value for money. You do not have to doubt that the kinetic sand from this manufacturer is a good choice for your child!

It is worth noting that the consistency is standard, resembles ordinary sand, but holds its shape better and does not fall apart.

It is a high-quality set and is great value for money.

Benefits:

  • There is a large amount of sand in the set
  • Nice consistency, keeps its shape well
  • Suitable for good contact with water - it is enough to dry it, and the sand will restore its original state

Cons:

  • Some consumers complain that this sand does stick to their hands
View the most current prices and availability here

Best Kinetic Sand Playset: Kinetic Sand Construction Site

It is good kinetic sand that has a large number of positive feedback from consumers.

Best Kinetic Sand Playset: Kinetic Sand Construction Site

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The consistency of this sand differs from the previous one because this sand is “softer” and has a lower viscosity.

Unlike the previous one, this kit contains many more attachments and is a complete set to build the strongest (kinetic) sand blocks and walls and it is enough for your child's best creativity.

The main drawback I want to note is that it has an unpleasant odor when first opened.

However, this smell disappears within an hour or two, but they perhaps should have made that clearer.

Plus you shouldn't mix different brands of kinetic sand, something I would have done because such a playset doesn't always have enough kinetic sand to make it really fun.

Different brands have different composition and then, at least with the one I mixed, it loses its sticky consistency and becomes pretty much just sand.

Most of the consumers notice the durability of this sand as it should last for two to three years.

Unlike the previous ones, this kinetic sand does not resemble regular fine sand, but has more mushy consistency with larger grains.

However, this sand, like the previous one, sticks well and keeps its shape.

Benefits:

  • Build
  • Good consistency and viscosity
  • Super package with nice attachments

Cons:

  • Unpleasant odor (on first opening)
View this set here

Best Kinetic Sandbox: Kinetic Sand Super Sandbox

Best Kinetic Sandbox: Kinetic Sand Super Sandbox

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The Kinetic Sand brand is the best brand when it comes to kinetic sand, with the finest hand feeling and good stickability, so that you can actually make buildings or other creations with it.

That's why my top 3 recommendations are all from this brand.

But what they also excel at is bringing nice sets to the market.

I know many of you will also be looking for a good container to put it in, because it is indeed safe indoor play sand, but if you don't tuck it in anywhere it will still go all over the place.

That's why there's this super sandbox, with plenty of room to play (perfect if you have 2 kids!) and it even comes with 4,5kg of sand so they have enough to build right away.

This set will really last a long time, because you can easily store the sand in a collapsible box.

Check the latest prices here

Nicest colored Kinetic sand: National geographic play sand

It is a very interesting three color kinetic sand set from National Geographic:

Nicest colored Kinetic sand: National geographic play sand

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This sand has a fairly dense consistency, it forms and holds its shape well (it hardly falls apart unlike the other models in our review).

It is dyed with pigments and not dyes, so it is absolutely safe for children.

Maybe it is the best kinetic sand set for toddlers! With three sand colors, your child can be more creative compared to regular sand of classic color.

It is a really interesting kinetic sand set and absolutely every child will love to play with it, you can buy colors separately and sometimes a limited edition with all colors in one package is available.

It's great to develop artistic skills and creative thinking!

Benefits:

  • It hardly melts unlike other kits
  • Tricolor sand makes your child more creative
  • It is dyed with pigments and therefore it is absolutely safe for children

Cons:

  • It is difficult to divide into three colors again after mixing
Check availability here

Best kinetic sand car box: Hotwheels Monster Jam Dirt Deluxe Set

“Kinetic” sand from this manufacturer unlike the other products in this review has a larger grain size and prominent grainy texture.

Cutest kinetic sand car box Hotwheels Monster Jam Dirt Deluxe Set

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The main drawback that many consumers complain about is a poor viscosity of the sand, but the most important thing about this set is of course the combination with Hot Wheels cars.

It stays in great shape, maybe a little too good, but it's also a big disaster for the Monster Truck to build so it will be necessary if necessary.

This set has a beautiful deep color that you can have incredible fun with.

So it is more like playing on the beach, but you have to like it compared to other kinetic sand which sticks together better but perhaps feels less “real”.

The sad thing is that there is little kinetic sand. It's just enough for 1 disaster so I added some myself.

But if you add from another brand, make sure you don't mix it because then you will ruin the adhesive structure and it will no longer work as well.

View this set here

Cutest Kinetic Sand Figures: Spinmaster Kinetic Sand Paw Patrol

It's excellent kinetic sand from Spinmaster! It comes in two different colors and this set is mainly about the fun Paw Patrol figures.

Cutest Kinetic Sand Figures: Spinmaster Kinetic Sand Paw Patrol

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There are 3 sand colors with which your child can form different interesting shapes of sand, for example with the sand molds you already have, but with the shapes of course the favorite Paw Patrol dogs.

The rest of the specifications are the same as the previous set from Kinetic Sand as it is the same material.

View this Paw Patrol set here

Best glitter sand: Shimmering Magic Sand from Kinetic Sand

It is unique sand that, as stated in the title, really shines. I have not yet seen comparable products from competitors of the same quality as this one.

Kinetic sand with glitter

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It comes in a number of colors: green, black, blue and purple, but I think this red has the most beautiful deep color.

And given its consistency, Kinetic Sand is the best kinetic sand in this review. It stays in shape for a long time and does not "melt" at all.

The only downside I have to mention is that the sand can stain hands and surfaces where kids play with it (but it cleans easily with water).

This sand is environmentally safe - according to the manufacturer, if children eat some sand, it is absolutely safe for their health - the content is all natural and harmless (as in all products from our review).

Benefits:

  • Unique shimmering sand
  • Eco Friendly
  • Good consistency and viscosity

Cons:

  • Stains on hands and playing surface
View the most current prices here

Kinetic sand play area for indoor use

The kinetic sand holds together quite well, but you still need something to put it in. In the beginning we did it in an old oven dish because it has raised edges, but that is actually too small.

That is why we went looking for a handy indoor play area for sand.

Waba fun kinetic sand play pit

This is one of Waba Fun that is specially made for it:

Kinetic sand play area for indoor use

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DIY play tray from a box

DIY kinetic sand play area from a box

Of course you can always make your own DIY play box for the sand. In this video I show how I made a free play box from a sturdy box of a excavator we bought:

How does kinetic sand work?

A fascinating material called 'kinetic sand' that can be shaped like clay but also somehow feels silky soft to the touch is fun for kids and adults alike.

Kinetic sand how does it work

A search on Instagram for #kineticsand, for example, will return thousands of videos of people cutting, smashing and scooping the stuff in what seems like a grand sensory experience.

But what gives kinetic sand its transfixing effects?

Why is Kinetic Sand Calming?

Kneading Kinetic Sand with your palms and fingertips is a relaxing and stress-relieving experience. The structure of the sand is easy to grip and soft, making children of all ages can develop their fine motor skills through fun open play.

What is Kinetic sand made of?

Kinetic sand is ordinary sand covered with silicone oil, research into its composition shows.

Silicone does not refer to one specific material but to a group of materials containing the elements silicon and oxygen.

Silicones are polymers, meaning they are molecules made up of long chains of repeating units.

The compounds are used in all types of products from cosmetics, lotions, shampoos and conditioners to lubricants and sealants.

Silicone oils have unique properties in that they can be liquids that flow freely or semi-solids that flow slowly in the absence of pressure, but behave like rubbery solids under stress.

This characteristic is called “viscoelasticity”.

But the degree of viscoelasticity of a substance depends on the length of the polymer chains in the silicone oil.

That's also why different brands can have different viscosity, as we have been able to read in the reviews.

Imagine long (very long) strands of spaghetti. They stick together so they can form a ball together on your plate and hold their shape for some time and over time they slowly disintegrate into a plate full of loose strands.

Longer strands of spaghetti hold their shape better than shorter ones.

Likewise, the polymer chains in the silicone oil cause the sand particles to stick together in kinetic sand, so you can form them into a ball.

However, the ball will slowly disintegrate over time, and some brands will be faster than others.

But the silicone oil-coated sand particles only stick together, not other surfaces. Therefore kinetic sand does not appear “sticky” and is easy to clean.

What colors of kinetic sand do you have?

There are many colors of kinetic sand and sometimes some are added, such as sand with glitter for example, but the colors that are sold the most are brown, blue, green, purple, pink and orange.

Conclusion

The kinetic sand is an excellent choice as a gift for any child!

No doubt your child will play with it for a long time. And for the first time the whole family will be together castles (always fun to use with toys!) and build different sand shapes.

It's worth noting that kinetic sand is excellent for not only kids, but fun to play with as an adult.

In short, the kinetic sand is a good gift for your kids and will bring a lot of fun!

Also read: what age is kinetic sand most suitable for?

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.