This has to be the BEST and easiest kinetic sand recipe around!  If you love how kinetic sand feels out of the box, why not make DIY kinetic sand for sensory play at home and save!  Kids love this type of play sand that moves and works magically for various ages.  Add this homemade kinetic sand recipe to your bag of sensory recipes, and you will always have something fun to whip up any day you want!

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Make Kinetic Sand For Sensory Play

Kids love digging their hands into cool sensory textures like playdough, slime, sand foam, and this new homemade kinetic sand we have been testing!

My son loves to explore new textures, and it never gets old for us to pull out one of our easy-to-make sensory creations and whip up something for the afternoon, especially if the weather isn’t cooperating.

Even better kinetic sand is borax free and non-toxic for kids of all ages to enjoy. However, it is NOT edible!

Check out our sand slime option if you love making slime!

Hands-on Learning Activities With Kinetic Sand

Kinetic sand is an excellent addition to your preschool activities! Even a busy box or small bin with a lid filled with a batch of kinetic sand, a few small trucks, and a little container is a great start! Transform any morning or afternoon with this activity. Or add it to a center in the classroom and give it a theme!

Try These Kinetic Sand Activities:

  • Duplos are fun to stamp in kinetic sand!
  • Use number or letter cookie cutters and homemade kinetic sand for math and literacy. Add counters for one-to-one counting practice too.
  • Create a holiday theme, such as red kinetic sand using red craft sand for Christmas. Add holiday-themed cookie cutters and plastic candy canes.
  • Add a handful of google eyes to the kinetic sand and a pair of kid-safe tweezers to practice fine motor skills while removing them.
  • Pair a favorite book, such as a truck book, with a batch of fresh kinetic sand, small vehicles, and rocks. Or an ocean book with a handful of seashells to identify.
  • TOOBS animals pair well with kinetic sand too, and are perfect for exploring different habitats worldwide.
  • Of course, sand castle building tools or construction vehicles are a simple hit with kids and help to practice fine motor skills.

Also, make sure to try our Sand Foam sensory play recipe too!

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What Is Kinetic Sand Made Of?

Kinetic sand is a neat material because it has a bit of movement. It’s still moldable and shapeable, and squishable!

What is kinetic sand made of? 4 simple ingredients which include sand, glue, water, and cornstarch, and you’re on your way to fantastic sensory play!

The cornstarch, dish soap, and glue all make this come together for a fun activity that provides an amazing tactile experience.

Although this kinetic sand is very similar to the store-bought kind, it will still have its unique texture. If your sand is too dry, add more glue; if it is too sticky, mix in a bit more cornstarch.

Is Kinetic Sand Toxic?

Our homemade kinetic sand recipe is non-toxic and ready for play! Commercial kinetic sand recipes will include more ingredients or chemicals than a homemade kinetic sand recipe but the texture may also vary.

Simple Tips For Using Kinetic Sand

Use A Shower Curtain

Kinetic sand is much less messy than a bin of plain sand, but you can still expect some spills when your kids’ imaginations take off!

A small dustpan and brush are perfect for little spills. You can even take it outside. If you want to limit indoor mess, put down a dollar-store shower curtain or old sheet first. Simply shake it out when you are done!

A Deep Container Works Better

I recommend putting the kinetic sand in a large bin that’s not too shallow for younger kids. Older kids may enjoy playing more calmly with it on a craft tray or dollar store cookie sheet.

Keep It Covered When Not In Use

Keep your kinetic sand covered and it should last for several weeks. If you store it away for a while, check for freshness when you pull it out.

Since this sensory recipe is not made with commercial ingredients (preservatives or chemicals), it is healthier but not as long-lasting!

CHECK IT OUT: Sensory play activities for the whole year!

Free Printable Sensory Play Guide

This free sensory play guide is the perfect reminder to make new play materials with your kiddos. Bookmark, save or print it and stick it on the fridge or bulletin board. You’ll never run out of awesome activities to do with kids.

Kinetic Sand Recipe

Make it in your favorite color with this Colored Kinetic Sand Recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of play sand or craft sand (use colored craft sand to create colorful kinetic sand!)
  • 1/2 cup of school glue
  • 2 teaspoons of dish soap
  • 2 tablespoons of cornstarch

Instructions:

STEP 1: Combine play sand, dish soap, and cornstarch, stirring until all the ingredients are mixed together very well.  

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STEP 2: Add the glue a little at a time and stir thoroughly with each time you add a bit more.  

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STEP 3: Once the ingredients are mixed with the spoon, knead the mixture with your hands for a few moments to finish the mixing process!  

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Kinetic sand is an interesting texture. Have you ever made oobleck? It’s a bit similar, where the mixture doesn’t quite feel like a solid or a liquid. That’s called a Non-newtonian fluid!

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5 Sensory Bins You Can Make With Kinetic Sand

Construction Sensory Bin

Fill a large bin with homemade kinetic sand, mini construction vehicles (e.g., bulldozers, excavators, dump trucks) and other construction-related toys (e.g., cones, barriers, toy buildings and blocks). Kids can use the vehicles to “dig” and “move” the kinetic sand as they build and reshape the kinetic sand landscape.

Dinosaur Sensory Bin

Create a dinosaur sensory bin with moldable kinetic sand and your favorite dinosaur toys. This sensory bin is a super fun theme for year-round play! Plus, check out the resources to help you assemble an entire dinosaur theme unit.

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Ice Castle Sensory Bin

Fill the bin with kinetic sand, add in some trees and construction blocks to make your own “ice castles” for a winter theme sensory bin.

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Treasure Hunt Sensory Bin

Fill a bin with kinetic sand, small toys or objects (e.g., plastic animals, figurines, small containers) and scoops, shovels, or small tools for digging. Colored gems or beads would make fun treasure to find!

Tropical Summer Sensory Bin

Create a tropical summer sensory bin with kinetic sand and summer theme play items.

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Tropical Sensory Bin

What Else Can You Make With Cornstarch and Sand?

Cornstarch

While you’ve got that box of cornstarch out, try one of these recipes after you whip up a batch of kinetic sand.

Sand

More Fun Sensory Play Ideas

You can check out all our sensory activities, here are a few of our favorites.

5 Comments

  1. I tried this recipe and it clumped up into a rubbery mess. Not sure what happened but this recipe did not work for us.

  2. I’m sorry to hear that as we have made it several times and actually sent it off to have the video made for us. Happy to troubleshoot if you email [email protected]

  3. Could you be more specific about what brands of dish soap and glue were used? Or where you got play/craft sand? Not all glues and dish soaps were created equal! Which one works best?

  4. We tend to use what’s on hand such as Dawn! Play/craft sand can be found on Amazon or in craft stores.

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