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Here's How to Make Your Own Kinetic Sand — And What to Do With It

DIY kinetic sand is just as squishy and fun as the store-bought stuff. Try these recipes and cool activities for kinetic sand!

Margo Gothelf and Sarah Burns


If your child loves playing with slime, chances are they'll love kinetic sand too. The two substances are basically cousins and are both a little messy in their own right. While they are both squishable and mushy, kinetic sand doesn’t have the same gooey texture as slime. Kinetic sand can hold its shape, be formed to look like different objects, and fill molds. 

Kinetic sand is fun to play with on its own, but it is also an excellent resource when it comes to sensory play. The super moldable substance is great for helping to develop fine motor skills, as it is a very hands-on activity. The sand is also great for a rainy day, as it is quick and easy to set up and makes minimal mess. 

While you can easily buy kinetic sand, it’s more fun to roll up your sleeves and make your own as a family art project. Typically, kinetic sand is made using a combination of sand, dish soap, and corn starch. Check out the different recipes below and try out the varieties to see which one you like best.

Kinetic Sand Recipes

  • While most kinetic sand recipes are similar, there are different combinations of ingredients you can use to create different textures. Here are a few different recipes to try:

DIY Kinetic Sand Recipe


Little Bins for Little Hands

To make kinetic sand super pliable, Little Bins For Little Hands adds glue to the basic recipe of sand, dish soap, and corn starch. Once the sand is made, the substance keeps together for a few weeks before drying out completely. Just make sure you keep this one in an airtight container!

Foam Sand Recipe

foam sand

One Little Project

This kinetic sand recipe from One Little Project keeps it super simple with just sand and shaving cream. The shaving cream gives the sand a super foamy texture. The foamy texture of the sand doesn’t last very long, so you’ll have to keep adding shaving cream if you want to keep it mushy. While this qualifies as kinetic sand, it doesn’t keep as long as the typical recipe.

Colorful Kinetic Sand Recipe

rainbow-kinetic-sand copy

Mom Dot

Mom Dot uses food coloring to dye a basic kinetic sand recipe of sand, corn starch, hand soap, and water. If you want to make a bunch of colors, plan on buying a few bags of sand. 

Once you’ve picked out the texture and recipe that is right for you, get working to make your very own kinetic sand. You’ll definitely want to try out a few of the activities below when you have a batch ready to go. 

Kinetic Sand Activities

  • Once you’ve decided on the texture and recipe that is right for you, try out a few of the kinetic sand activities below!

Kinetic Sand Writing Tray


Stir the Wonder

Kinetic sand is a great tool to use to help improve those letter writing skills. The pliable sand provides some resistance, allowing kids to get a feel for holding their writing utensil properly. The sand also helps kids understand how much pressure they should put on their pen or pencil. Head on over to Stir The Wonder to see how you can set up your very own kinetic sand writing tray. 

Block Building with Kinetic Sand


Fun Learning for Kids

Even if you’d much rather be on a beach playing with real sand to make sandcastles, this kinetic sand block building activity is a solid substitute. Grab a pack of plastic building blocks and have kids fill them up with sand. Because the blocks are hollow on the inside, the sand will form a mold of the block. When they've formed a few blocks, kids can stack them into a high tower or channel their inner engineer and build a structural kinetic sand house. Check out the details on Fun Learning For Kids

Kinetic Sand Construction Sensory Bin

kinetic sand construction-bin

Teaching 2 and 3 Year Olds

Kids who love pretty much anything remotely related to trucks and digging will want to check out this kinetic sand construction sensory bin activity. The activity uses the kinetic sand to mimic an active construction site that needs to be cleared out. Your kid's job is to use their trucks and excavators to grab all of the unwanted material out of the sand. Grab that hard hat and get digging!

Kinetic Sand Letter Molds

kinetic sand letter molds

Play to Learn Preschool

With this kinetic sand letter mold activity, little ones can explore their letters all while playing in the sand at the same time. To make this activity run smoothly, you’ll need a set of letter molds or cookie-cutter alphabet stamps. If your child is just starting to read, help them use the molds to spell out words. If it’s too soon for that, let your little ones play around to get familiar with their ABCs. 

Kinetic Sand Insect Sensory Bin

Kinetic Sand Insect Sensory Bin

Simply Designing

If you’ve got a little one at home who can’t get enough of bugs, you’ll love this DIY insect sensory bin activity. Fill a big bin with kinetic sand and hide plastic bugs and critters all around the bin. Make sure you cover them with sand! Then let your little ones get to work with their nets and shovels to see just how many bugs they can catch. Don’t love bugs? Use any plastic toy to bury in the sand and see just how many your child can find.

Kinetic Sand Shapes

shapes-matching-kids kinetic sand activity

Still Playing School

When giant wooden puzzle pieces go missing, the whole toy gets pushed to the side. But this kinetic sand activity is an ingenious way to give old wooden puzzle pieces new life as stamps. Set out a bunch of kinetic sand on a sheet pan or on a table. Your child can use the puzzle piece stamps to make different designs in the sand or just have fun squishing the pieces around. Check out the details over on Still Playing School.

Kinetic Sand Pretend Play Food


The Craft Train

See you later mud pies! Thanks to kinetic sand, pretend food can now be a lot cleaner and much easier to clean up. Head to The Craft Train where she’ll walk you through how to make pancakes, aka “sandcakes,” popsicles, and kinetic sand cookies. Don’t stop with those three items. Keep the menu going and see just how many kinetic sand food items your kiddo can make. Who knows? They might even be able to open their own kinetic sand restaurant.