DIY: How to make your own kinetic sand and make the most out of sand play

Save money as you help foster your child's cognitive skills by making your own kinetic sand

Playing with sand is a great way to develop your child’s imagination, fine motor skills, hand & eye coordination, and so much more. And now, with the introduction of kinetic sand, playing with sand isn’t as messy as it used to be. Kinetic sand is also easier to mold than normal sand, making it ideal for your little ones.

But kinetic sand at toy stores usually come at pretty high prices. 12 ounces of kinetic sand typically cost US$20. You can save so much by just making your own! Here’s a DIY Kinetic Sand recipe from BabyFirstTV.

All you need is:

  • Fine sand; the finer the better! (1 cup)
  • Cornstarch (1.5 cups)
  • Dish soap (1 tsp)
  • Water (1.5 cups)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Here’s what you should do:

1. Mix sand and cornstarch in a bowl.

2. Add dish soap. This is supposed to prevent bacteria or mold from growing on the sand.

3. Add enough water so that the sand and cornstarch mix together. According to About Education, it’s alright for you to add a bit more of any ingredient so you get the consistency you want.

4. Add food coloring.

5. Let it dry for 1-2 hours.

6. Play!

Your sand will dry up over time. When this happens, just add more water!

On the next page: how to make the most of sand play.

Here are some ways from Early Childhood News that you can make sand play better for your child:

1. Make the sand play environment more interesting and challenging

You can provide measuring spoons and cups, different kinds of containers, balance scales, and so forth.

2. Ask open-ended questions

One great thing about sand play is that it’s open-ended—in contrast to ready-made toys, sand requires imagination and participation. Ask your child open-ended questions that allows our child to learn on their own. What you’re doing is giving them support while allowing them to figure things out on their own. Some examples of open-ended questions are:

  • How can you fix that?
  • Is there another way?
  • What happens when you…?

how to make kinetic sand

3. Arrange play dates

Sand play is not only good for your child’s motor skills and creativity, it also helps promote social skills when kids play together.

4. Use mathematical terms

Playing with sand is a great way to introduce mathematical terms like more/less, heavy/light, etc. You can also ask your child to count how many scoops it takes to fill a container.

5. Keep the sand play area free and child-centered

Though you should supervise your child’s play, it’s alright—even better—if you take a few steps back and let your child’s imagination take center stage.

6. Remember: there is no right way to play with sand

Your child won’t care if she’s using cheap or recycled measuring cups or a branded set from a toy store. You can look for different things around the house to incorporate into their sand play, like rolling pins, funnels, PVC pipes, and so forth.

READ: Why you should let your kid play in the dirt

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