Make your own kinetic sand

by Joost Nusselder | Updated on:  December 29, 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.

Making kinetic sand is a great sensory play activity and one that a child can help create.

Let them be your science assistant and practice measuring, pouring and mixing skills.

There are plenty of other ways to make kinetic sand other than what I'm discussing here, so feel free to try other methods if you'd like.

Make your own kinetic sand

It's no secret that kids love to play and get messy, but why would a sensible parent want to bring a potentially complete mess into their home?

Well, kids play in all sorts of ways to develop fine motor skills, gross motor skills and develop social skills.

There are activities you can do at home or at school to help children develop these skills.

One of these is to encourage sensory play.

Sensory play can build nerve connections in the pathways of the brain, allowing little ones to complete more complex learning tasks later in life.

It can also help calm an anxious or frustrated child, and it helps children learn sensory traits:

  • warm
  • cold
  • hard
  • soft
  • sticky
  • and dry

Although playing with bought kinetic sand is already great for development, helping to make your own play sand is that much more!

Recipe for homemade kinetic sand

Gather your materials

Read through all the instructions for this project first. Then collect the following materials to make the sand:

  • Mixing bowl
  • Measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Fine white sand
  • Corn starch

To make the colored soap solution:

  • 1 cup of water
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Food coloring

Pour sand into the mixing bowl

It is important that the sand is kept dry. Make sure your sand is bone dry before continuing with this step.

If your sand is damp, you will need to bake it first to remove the excess water.

Pour the sand into a bowl. Use as much sand as you would like to play with. We used about 3 to 4 cups of sand.

Note: If the sand is damp, spread it on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 30 degrees C for 50 minutes.

Make sure the sand is cool before pouring it into the mixing bowl.

Add cornstarch

Use your spoon gauge to measure 2 tablespoons of cornstarch and add this to your sand.

Help a child get an accurate size by scooping the corn starch with the meter, then use a finger to level the powder in the spoon and remove the excess starch by brushing it over the top.

Perfect for learning about the importance of correct measurements!

Mix cornstarch and sand

Mix the sand and cornstarch until the two are completely mixed.

Tip: You can mix the two with your measuring spoon to save on the dishes. Set the sand and cornstarch mixture aside.

Prepare the colored soap solution

Since kinetic sand is 98 percent sand and 2 percent polymers, you need to make a solution with polymers to add to the sand.

The polymers we need for our kinetic sand are in dish soap.

First, measure out a cup of water. Add 1 teaspoon of dish soap. Mix the soap and water with the measuring spoon until bubbles appear on the surface.

Add color to your soap solution

Add a minimum of 6 drops of food coloring to the soap solution. We used red and blue dye to make purple kinetic sand.

The darker the soap solution, the more colorful your sand will be. More food coloring is needed in the water than you think.

If you later decide to add more food coloring, you can do this when mixing your sand.

Add soap solution to your sand and mix

Slowly pour the solution into your sand. If you pour too quickly, your sand will become liquid. You aim for a really thick milkshake consistency.

It's best to take this step slowly and mix the sand with the solution as you work. You don't have to use all the fix you have created.

To mix, roll up your sleeves and dip in with both hands. Yep, that's the best way!

Play with your kinetic sand

The best part of making kinetic sand is playing with it. Use a plastic knife or fork to cut your sand.

Have fun with cookie cutters and sandcastle shapes. If you plan to reuse your sand, pack it in an airtight container or zip bag.

Note that the sand can dry after a while (the air will evaporate the liquid in the sand).

If this is the case, add some more soap solution to continue playing.

Read also: why does kinetic sand actually stick to my hands?

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.