Unleash Creativity with Rainbow Kinetic Sand: A Fun and Therapeutic DIY Activity

Have you heard of kinetic sand? Chances are your kids have and probably have begged for some while wandering the toy aisles of Target. And it’s no wonder it’s popular among kids and teachers alike, since kinetic sand is great for both classroom play and at home.

The grainy mixture is one of many helpful sensory toys and experiences that are gaining in popularity. If you’re not sure what Kinetic sand is, now worries. In this blog post we’re going to talk about what kinetic sand is, how to make colorful rainbow sand at home and ways to use the resource as a fun way to entertain kids while they are practicing their fine motor skills.

What is kinetic sand?

Let’s start with the basics… kinetic sand (or moon sand) is sand that stays together instead of breaking apart into individual grains. This makes it easy to form shapes, and even cut it. The sand has a soft and crumbly texture, but it sticks together when force is applied to it. 

The fine moldable sand that has tiny granules of silica and other minerals added to it to make it malleable and squishable, while still retaining its shape when touched.

Kids love kinetic sand because it feels cool and velvety between their fingers, and children with sensory issues or autism can benefit from its unique texture.

A lot of parents and teachers use kinetic sand to help children with sensory processing disorder or other special needs develop their fine motor skills.

Don’t forget: As with all potential choking hazards, children need adult supervision with this DIY sand.

How does kinetic sand work? 

Kinetic sand because the weight of the olive oil is heavier than the combined weight of the sand and the cornstarch. This keeps the sand to stay dry enough to not stick on your hands, but wet enough to stick together.

How To Make Kinetic Sand at Home

No need to run out and grab a store bought kinetic sand kit. With this at home recipe, not will you save money, but you can even get the kids involved! With just a few minutes of mixing, you can provide hours of playful, creative fun for your kids.

Ingredients for Rainbow Sand

Making your own rainbow-colored kinetic sand at home is surprisingly easy! All you need is: sand, cornstarch, and olive oil. We’re going to make the kinetic sand in different colors for a rainbow effect, but if you prefer you can use natural colored sand. 

You can purchase different shades of colored sand at the craft store or on Amazon. This particular recipe for kinetic sand calls for six cups of sand, so you can use one cup of six different colors to get the rainbow effect or make it all one color, whichever works best for your project.

Kinetic Sand Recipe

Add one cup of each color of sand to six separate bowls. Add the secret ingredient, ⅓ cup of cornstarch, to each bowl and mix thoroughly. Add 4 teaspoons of olive oil to each bowl and combine the sand mix well.

Place the kinetic sand on a baking tray, or in a plastic container with a lid to make a kinetic sandbox. That’s it, your homemade kinetic sand is ready to play with!

FAQs About Kinetic Sand

Can I make colored sand? 

Yes! If you want to make colorful kinetic sand out of white or naturally colored sand you can do so easily. Simply put your sand in a resealable bag and add a few drops of food coloring. Close the bag and shake the sand around until it turns the color that you would like. Once you have the kinetic sand colors you want, lay the sand out on a baking sheet until it dries. 

How do you store homemade kinetic sand? 

Homemade kinetic sand needs to be stored in an airtight container. If you store your kinetic sand in an airtight container or plastic bag, your kids will be able to play with it for months to come. 

Does kinetic sand dry out? 

Yes, kinetic sand can dry out, that is why it is recommended that you store it in airtight containers. If your kinetic sand seems to be too dry just add a few drops of water to it with an eye dropper and it should go back to the same fun texture it was before. 

Can you use beach sand?

If you are lucky enough to live close to the beach bring some of the sand back home with you! You can use beach sand to make this homemade kinetic sand recipe and make it budget friendly. 

Can you play with kinetic sand in water? 

Ideally, you do not want to play with kinetic sand and water. The water will cause the sand to form large clumps and possibly bleed onto surfaces.

However, if your kinetic sand gets wet, spread the wet sand out flat to dry and it should go back to the way it was.

Mom Tip: We have the best luck using cheap, disposable containers that no one cares about messing up with the DIY kinetic sand. 

Do I need special kinetic sand toys? 

No, you don’t need any special toys for your kinetic sand play. You can use any kind of sand toy like pails, molds, shovels, and rakes. Cookie cutters, measuring cups, spoons, and muffin tins also make excellent sand toys. 

Ways to Use Moon Sand

Now that you’ve made your rainbow moon sand, let’s talk how to use it with kiddos. Moon sand is a great sensory toy for toddlers and preschoolers, but it can also be used in creative play and art projects.

Here are some ideas:

  • Create play sand homes for different play animals
  • Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes
  • Add unicorns and large beads for a magical homemade sand experience
  • Building sand castles like at the beach with a bucket and small sand toys
  • Put kinetic sand in an aquarium or terrarium, slowly pouring the different colors to make layers
  • Blue kinetic sand with sea animals for summertime play
  • Give the kids a kitchen sifter and bowls for cooking fun
  • Make rough terrain for small trucks and cars to drive over

Kinetic sand is an excellent sensory toy for the home or the classroom. Playing with the sand can have a calming effect on children, and it also allows them to use their creativity and imagination as they build and play. 

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