I’ve written over and over about how much I love sensory play and why it is valuable for supporting kids’ development. I’m always on the lookout for new sensory materials to engage my children’s senses. So I was intrigued when I recently learned about a material called kinectic sand. Unlike regular sand, kinetic sand is soft and stretchy. It is also fairly mess free, because it sticks to itself but not to your hands. I was so intrigued by what I read that I knew we had to try this stuff out for ourselves. And all I can say after playing with it is WOW! Kinectic sand is officially my new favorite sensory play material!
I’m so excited to share our experience with Kinetic sand as part of a fun new series running from March 1 through April 9 called 40 Days of Sensory Bin Fillers. Sarah of Little Bins for Little Hands has gathered 40 different sensory bin filler ideas from 40 different bloggers and is sharing them all in one location. If you love sensory play as much as I do, or if you are simply looking for new sensory play ideas, be sure to hop on over to take a look at the wonderful ideas being shared.
Note: This and lots of other sensory play ideas can be found on my sensory play page.
For our first opportunity to play with kinectic sand, I opted to set it out on trays for each kid. On each tray I also included a funnel, some measuring spoons, some small cups, and some silicone cupcake liners (see my notes about the cupcake liners at the end).
I dumped some of the kinectic sand on a tray for all three of us – yes, I couldn’t help but try it out for myself! – and we all began to explore. (Note: I bought the 2.2 pound container of kinetic sand and it was more than sufficient for the three of us.)
Kinetic sand is made from a mixture of sand and polymers, so it has a texture unlike anything I’ve ever played with before. If I had to describe the texture, I would say it felt like a mixture of sand, oobleck, and play dough:
- It was less gritty than dry sand, and very moldable like wet sand without actually being wet.
- The way it would act like a solid one moment and then start falling through my hands the next was reminiscent of the texture of oobleck.
- It was soft and easily moldable like play dough, although it came apart easier than play dough.
We explored the kinetic sand in all kinds of ways. QBoy made shapes, including this square.
We put the kinetic sand into little cups, and discovered that it held its shape very well once popped out of the cup.
It could be easily formed into a ball.
It could also be formed into a peak.
And I decided to have some fun by building my own sand castle!
Best of all, kinetic sand cleans up pretty easily because it is designed to stick to itself rather than to skin. I was able to clump all the sand together and get it easily back into the container. I don’t think I would ever be brave enough to let my kids play with real sand inside our home, but kinetic sand was no problem at all.
The only material that our kinetic sand stuck to was our silicone cupcake liners. But a quick rinse in the sink took care of this mess with no problem.
Did you enjoy learning about kinetic sand? Want to learn about other sensory bin fillers? Make sure to stop by Little Bins for Little Hands to see all of the other sensory bin fillers that are part of the 40 Days of Sensory Bin Fillers series!
More sensory play resources
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