How To Make Kinetic Sand (DIY)
Kinetic Sand is the rage at our house and it is surprisingly simple to make at home with this easy kinetic sand recipe.
Our kids love to play with kinetic sand and it is a really fun sensory experience. It is definitely time for us to learn how to make the moldable magic sand for ourselves. While the kids enjoy the fun of the beach, they are also getting a great sensory sand experience.
What is Kinetic Sand?
Kinetic sand resembles wet sand at the beach instead of dry or dusty sandbox sand. When playing with kinetic sand, it feels more like playdough because you can mold it and squish it and the grains of sand stick together emphasizing fine motor skills of little hands. Traditional Kinetic sand reacts this way because it is coated with a silicone type substance. Our homemade kinetic sand reacts this way because the slime ingredient coats each grain of sand like the silicone would.
DIY Kinetic Sand
This kinetic sand recipe has a unique feel and the same elastic qualities as the store bought kinetic sand (regular sand, that is coated with silicone oil), it is similar to play dough in the way that you can mold it. But it also gritty (this version is even grittier than the store stuff) and it melts a bit like sand making it a must-have in your sensory play materials.
It is a great way to entice kids to play in new ways. This sensory experience is one of those things that your kids will play with it for hours which makes it worth the effort of making kinetic sand. To me it is a mesmerizing experience, it feels just like wet sand and you can’t help but build sandcastles!
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What is Kinetic Sand Made Of?
- Slime (make it here or you can buy it here)
- Disposable Containers
- Disposable Utensils (spoons)
- Kitchen Sifter
- Play Sand
How to Make Kinetic Sand
- Get a batch of slime. You can buy it here or you can make your own slime. We found that a stickier recipe – like our fake snot– makes our favorite consistency of kinetic sand.
- You will need disposable containers and a stirring utensil (we ended up throwing away the spoon after the slime “glued” itself to the spoon – don’t make the same mistake).
- Play sand. We attempted to remove the tiny pebbles from the sand (larger grains of natural sand if you are using real beach sand) to make it less gritty. We used a kitchen sifter – but even with the small stones, the sand still “works”.
- Now, pour your slime into the sand and mix it with the spoon until it clumps together.
- Once it is a “mound”, as is pictured above, you can use your hands and finish mixing in the sand.
- Continue to add sand to your ball until it is no longer sticky. If it is still wet, add more sand!
- Mix the kinetic sand until it makes a ball and you now have homemade classic kinetic sand.
DIY Kinetic Sand Ratio
In our recipe, we used a half cup of slime for every cup of sand or a 1:2 slime to sand ratio. If you have more coarse sand or more fine sand, it will change that ratio a bit. Start with a little less than we suggest and then as you work with it, add more slime until you have the desired consistency. If it is too wet, then add more sand.
How Much Kinetic Sand Does this Recipe Make?
This recipe is scalable to be as big or as small as you want. It is loosely based on how much sand you use. If you use a cup of sand, you will have about a cup of kinetic sand to play with.
Tips FOR THIS KINETIC SAND RECIPE
- We used nearly half a cup of slime per every cup of sand (estimates).
- One of the things I love about Kinetic Sand is that, while it IS messy, it is a lot less messy than either regular play sand or moon sand. It clumps together so the mess is less.
- You still will want to put a shower curtain down before you play.
- If you want a colored version like blue kinetic sand, use the food coloring of your desired color choice…you will need more than a few drops!
You can’t tell by the photos, but this sand is fluid. It sorta melts after you build with it. Slowly becoming a puddle of sand. It’s a sensory experience blast to play with!
How to Store Kinetic Sand
Traditional kinetic sand doesn’t really dry out because it uses a silicone coating that stays wet. Our homemade kinetic sand recipe is more like a homemade playdough or slime that can dry out over time. And you will want to keep it all in one place safe from spilling! An airtight container like a plastic bag or plastic storage container with a lid works great for storing your leftover kinetic sand for another play day. If it gets dry, add some drops of water to refresh it.
DIY Kinetic Sand Recipe FAQ
The silicone coated traditional kinetic sand does not dry out, but our homemade version using slime will over time. You can revive it by adding more slime or try a little water – I like using a spray bottle.
Our secret ingredient is slime! It can be the store bought kind or our homemade version. Our favorite slime to use is the fake snot slime recipe because it is a little wetter than a traditional slime consistency.
Yes, although as with anything that might be eaten by children, you will want adult supervision because this is definitely not edible! If you are uncomfortable with your child’s hands having exposure to borax, you can simply use a borax-free slime as an additive.
Our homemade version of kinetic sand is not toxic. It uses everyday ingredients like sandbox sand, school glue and liquid starch. None of these ingredients should be ingested, but playing with kinetic sand with your hands is safe.
We have substituted corn meal for sand. It will change the amount of slime required because the cornmeal tends to soak up the liquid in the slime more than sand does.
Our homemade kinetic sand will keep getting wetter and wetter. If it gets too wet, simply let it dry out a bit before storing it.
Yes, your dog should not eat kinetic sand. Your dog should stick to dog food. Because none of the ingredients in our homemade kinetic sand are toxic, it will likely result in a stomach ache, but don’t take the chance!
Our homemade kinetic slime is made with glue. We used a school glitter glue, but any school glue will work.
Kinetic sand is really fun to play with. It will remind you of building sand castles on the beach! Kinetic sand is also a really fun sensory tool. Kids can explore all sorts of textures and how they feel while playing with hand coordination and proprioception.
DIY How to Make Kinetic Sand
Do your kids love playdough? If yes, they will love this sandy concoction. We have a recipe that shows you how to make kinetic sand.
- Disposable Containers
- Disposable Utensils (spoon)
- Kitchen Sifter
- Play Sand
- Either buy or make slime and add it to the disposable container.
- Use a kitchen sifter to remove small stones from the sand.
- Add your slime to the sand and stir until is clumps together.
- Use your hands to finish mixing in sand until your ball of kinetic sand is no longer sticky.
We used nearly half a cup of slime per every cup of sand.
More Kinetic Sand Fun & Fine Motor Skills Play
- Don’t have time to make kinetic sand beach sand? No worries! We have gone through and squished plenty of brands to find you the best kinetic sand on the market!
- Looking for kinetic sand play ideas? We have 12 great sensory activities that your little ones, and you, will love using cool sand! Most of them are simple to do and you’ll have most of the items already.
- It is not wet sand or kinetic beach sand, but it is baby safe edible sand!
- Need more fun activities for kids at home? We have you covered.
- And of course, we have a ton of summer activities that kids will love.
- Games to play with kindergarteners
- Funny kids jokes
- When do babies start sleeping through the night?
What did your kids think of making their own homemade kinetic sand recipe? How did they play with the sand…endless ways?
I will definitely try this with my kids. I probably will buy it, instead of making it since my DIY activities never go as planned.
@Irion – Ha! I know how you feel. Our DIY often goes awry, but this kinetic sand recipe is pretty easy and fool-proof…even for us. But there are a lot of store bought kinetic sands that are not super expensive and fun to play with at home. My favorite place for kids with kinetic sand is on the back porch so that the clean up is easy.
I did something similar with my boys once when they were younger…I can’t remember what it was called. But it was made out of pumpkin. LOL. They loved driving their “mighty machines” in it!
How fun, Shannon! Mmmm, pumpkin! We have a DIY pumpkin pie play dough that smells amazing!