It doesn't matter how many toys you have or how big your yard is, keeping boredom at bay with kiddos around feels like a full-time job! The struggle is real, you guys, but here's a new activity to try! This crazy simple kinetic sand recipe will keep your kids amused for hours.

little girl playing with kinetic sand, from Fun Cheap or Free

Moms, we know how tough it is to come up with activities that all the kids will love, that don't cost an arm and a leg, and that won't cause a huge mess. As the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, outside play isn't always an option, but you can bring the outdoor space inside with kinetic sand!

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What is this magic sand of which we speak? Oh, we're about to take you to school! Buckle in for a lesson on kinetic sand and stay put for a recipe your whole family will love. You might even want to bag this stuff up and use it as a party favor. It's just that cool! As Mrs. Frizzle would say, WAHOOO!

WHAT IS KINETIC SAND?

hands playing with pink kinetic sand, from Fun Cheap or Free

If your kids love playing in the sandbox or building castles at the beach, we can guarantee they'll be amazed by kinetic sand. But what the heck is it, you might ask? Here's the 4-1-1. Kinetic sand is just ordinary sand with polymers in it, which help it hold shapes. Think wet sand, but dry. Kinda weird, right?

Playing with kinetic sand is the perfect sensory activity for young kiddos. Getting to experience new textures and keeping the hands and mind engaged is SO critical to development. And kinetic sand has proven to be especially beneficial for children with delays or disabilities. It's so much more than just a fun toy; it's an incredible learning tool!

You can buy kinetic sand online at Target or Walmart, but a kit can set you back up to $30. Gulp. Why shell out that kind of cash when you can have a BLAST making your own?!

Watching ordinary sand turn into kinetic sand is magical! It's like a fun science experiment minus the annoying lab partner and the homework. And the best part? You only need a handful of ingredients. Move over, playdough!

OPTIONAL ADD-INS

We like kinetic sand just the way it is, but there's no harm having some extra fun with it! Any of these add-ins will only enhance the experience.

  • Dish Soap – Want to slice and dice your kinetic sand? Turn it into “moon sand” by adding in some dish soap! A little goes a long way, so start with one to two teaspoons.
  • Essential Oils – Take the sensory play to the next level by adding some scents to your sand. Try lavender or peppermint. You only need a few drops!
  • Food Coloring – You don't have to settle for tan or brown; try mixing and matching your favorite colors. Just add a few drops of food coloring to your mixture.
  • Slime – Are your kids as obsessed with slime as ours are? Add some kinetic sand to your slime and watch what happens! The texture is unreal. If you thought slime couldn't get any cooler, you thought wrong!

Pro Tip: Looking for a super simple slime recipe? This slime is our family favorite! All you need is a few ingredients.

HOW TO MAKE KINETIC SAND EVEN MORE FUN

turtles and fish made from kinetic sand, from Fun Cheap or Free

There is no need to run out and buy more toys to use with your kinetic sand! Rummage through the toy box and kitchen to get creative with household objects. You've already got everything you could need! Here are some examples:

  • Blocks – Building blocks are super fun with kinetic sand! You can fill them up, make castles, and all sorts of creative shapes.
  • Cookie Cutters – They aren't just for baking, guys! Cookie cutters make some of the best (and most affordable) toys. Grab a few unique shapes and let the kids go to town.
  • Dolls – Why not let Barbie and Ken have a beach day?! The kids will get a kick out of it.
  • Measuring Spoons – We know you have tons of these sitting in a drawer in your kitchen. Dust them off and use them to play with sand! You can even turn playtime into a quick math lesson.
  • Shovel – Gather up your beach toys and bring them inside. They're perfect for kinetic sand! No shovels? Spatulas work, too.
  • Toy Cars – Get a little mud on those tires! Our kids love leaving tire tracks in their kinetic sand–keeps them entertained for hours!
  • Toy Dinosaurs – There's no wrong way to play with toy dinos, but we think this way is extra fun. Give those little imaginations a workout.

If you have (clean) items just sitting in the recycling bin, you can bring those out, too! Make a toy train out of old milk cartons and fill up those cars with sand. Take some plastic and make your own hourglass. Jars, lids, and egg cartons make the perfect little scoops and shovels for kinetic sand, so put that trash to good use.

THE EASIEST KINETIC SAND RECIPE

Alright, the time has come. We've teased you enough! Drumroll, please….

May we present the EASIEST kinetic sand recipe around. Without further ado, here's how to bring this incredible sensory activity to life!

KINETIC SAND

This squishy, wonderful substance is about to become your family's favorite! Gather up a few ingredients and prepare for fun.
Prep Time5 mins
Total Time5 mins
Servings: 1 batch

Ingredients

  • cups Play Sand (You can buy it at your local craft store or hardware store.)
  • cups Corn Starch (Potato starch also works.)
  • ½ cup Cooking Oil (Baby oil works, too.)

Instructions

  • Grab a large mixing bowl or dish and pour your sand in it.
  • Add the corn starch and stir, stir, stir. Be sure to combine thoroughly.
  • Slowly pour the oil in and mix evenly. Easy does it! Add a little bit at a time. Continue to stir until there are no longer any wet (or dry) spots.
  • Now you're ready to play! Have fun.

Notes

When you're finished playing, store your sand in an airtight container with a lid. It should last for several months!

Pretty dang cool, huh? Don't mind us; we're just gonna go whip up another batch of kinetic sand and have hours of fun! But enough about us, what about you?! Tell us: what's your favorite sensory activity? Leave a comment below.

Homemade sensory activity for kids, from Fun Cheap or Free

Looking for more ways to keep the whole family entertained?

Have fun, freebs!