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How To Make Kinetic Sand: 2 Kid-Friendly Methods

Kinetic sand on a childs hand

If your child is constantly amazed by kinetic sand and what they can make with it, but you cannot purchase it for some reason, we have fantastic news for you. Making kinetic sand is actually relatively easy and requires only the basic supplies you can find in your kitchen supply closet.

In this tutorial below, you can find two creative ways to craft kinetic sand, which will provide your kid with many fun hours playing and creating various shapes.

Click below to jump ahead:

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What Is Kinetic Sand?

Kinetic sand is a type of sand mixed with other ingredients to create a cross between play doe and slime, making it perfect for children’s play. It is a soft and crumbly material that allows your children to explore their senses and build up their creativity and motor skills. It can be made into almost any shape using different molds and stays a specific shape once it dries. The good thing is you can always reuse kinetic sand to create shapes over and over, and making it is incredibly easy with just a few of your basic kitchen supplies. Because kinetic sand tends to be pricey, especially when bought in larger quantities, making it on your own is an excellent way to surprise your kids for an affordable price.

Depending on the supplies you have in your kitchen, you can craft kinetic sand from either cooking oil or dish soap mixed with glue. To learn how to make kinetic sand continue reading some of the most helpful tips below.

Kinetic Sand with Cooking Oil

1. Gather the Supplies

Before starting your kinetic sand project, gathering some of the essential supplies and tools you may need is necessary. Collecting the materials beforehand will speed up this process, making it easier to access the supplies as you mix them. For this particular recipe, you’ll need only sand, cornstarch, and oil. The ideal ratio will be 5:3:1—five parts sand, three parts cornstarch, and one part oil—and we advise you to measure everything accurately to achieve the perfect result. It is best to use a measuring cup.

Ideal amount to mix:
  • 2 ½ cups of sand
  • 1 ½ cups of cornstarch
  • ½ cup of oil
Tools for mixing:
  • Mixing bowl or dish
  • Measuring cup
  • Mixing spoons
cooking oil
Image Credit: HomeMaker, Pixabay

2. Add the Sand First

We recommend mixing everything with a large glass bowl or a container, such as a casserole dish. Measure 2 ½ cups of sand and pour the sand into the bowl first. You can use any variety of sand, such as beach sand, or purchase some at the hardware store. It is best to buy various vibrant colors of sand to make your kid’s play as much fun as possible.

3. Mix in Cornstarch

After pouring regular sand into a glass dish, you can begin adding 1 ½ cups of cornstarch. In case you don’t have cornstarch at your disposal, you can add some flour. Cornstarch will make the entire texture feel silkier, though.

Image Credit: Michelle Lee Photography, Shutterstock

4. Finish Your Mix by Adding Oil

Your last step would be to pour your chosen oil into the mix to finally create the flowy texture we are looking for. You can use any type of oil you can find in your home, from cooking oil and olive oil to baby oil and mineral oil. Add only ½ cup of oil and mix thoroughly, which will create lovely kinetic sand ready for play.

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Kinetic Sand with Dish Soap and Glue

1. Gather the Supplies

Another amazing recipe for creating kinetic sand is by using colored sand, dish soap, and glue. This recipe requires more supplies but will provide you with the same effect as the kinetic sand.

The exact recipe materials:
  • 1 cup fine sand in various colors
  • ½ tablespoon liquid starch
  • ¼ tablespoon dish soap
  • 1 tablespoon craft glue

Aside from the basic supplies, you need to prepare a glass container, a mixing spoon, and a measuring cup.

top of dish detergent bottle
Image Credit: Tara Lynn Sparks, Shutterstock

2. Add Sand to a Large Bowl

Similar to the previous recipe, we will first add sand to the glass container. Remember to use a colorful sand type, or if you can only find white sand, you can use food coloring to create several fun colors. You also need to ensure the sand is entirely dry, and if not, bake it to remove any excess water.

3. Add the Liquid Cornstarch into the Mix

Use a measurer to separate ½ tablespoon of liquid starch. Mix the liquid cornstarch with the sand until they are fully integrated, then set them aside.

4. Add Dish Soap and Glue to Achieve the Perfect Polymer Mixture

Kinetic sand is usually made up of 98% sand and 2% polymers, which can be achieved by mixing the sand with dish soap. Blend everything with a spoon, and when it stops working, continue blending with your hand, the same as with dough. Once you add dish soap and glue, your sand will get an entirely new texture.

molding kinetic sand
Image Credit: Tsyb Oleh, Shutterstock

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Final Thoughts

Once you’ve mixed everything, your last and most entertaining step is to give your children the kinetic sand along with a few gadgets such as a rolling pin, plastic cups, molds, and plastic knives. This material is entirely safe for them to play with, and it will develop their imagination and motor skills. Your kids will enjoy their uninterrupted playtime with kinetic sand, creating all types of shapes and structures.

Featured Image Credit: FamStudio, Shutterstock


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