Kinetic sand is a wonderful sensory bin base. It is a sand-like substance that is easily moldable yet is also free flowing. You can purchase kinetic sand but it is incredibly easy to make yourself. As part of our A-Z Sensory Play series we created a K is for Kinetic Sand Sensory Bin.
Let’s start with how to make a kinetic sand, in case you haven’t made it before: I placed six cups of play sand and one and a half cups of corn starch into a large mixing bowl. Using a metal spoon I mixed the two ingredients together.
In a container I poured in three quarters of a cup of water along with two teaspoons of washing up liquid. I whisked them together with a fork to form bubbles.
My son helped me pour a little of the liquid into the dry ingredients and together we stirred the mixture. We added a little more water until the kinetic sand was sandy and dough-like but not wet.
We placed the kinetic sand into our favourite sensory bin and then raided my sons pretend kitchen resources. We found mini silicone cupcake cases, an Ikea ice-cream set, wooden candles, a Gingerbread Man cookie cutter, toothpick flags, paper dishes and plastic bowls of varying sizes and a variety of scoops.
The kinetic sand was easy to manipulate. Immediately my son set about using the scoops to fill the mini silicone cupcake cases with the kinetic sand. Each ‘cake’ required a candle and we sang “Happy Birthday” several times.
Next he turned his attention to the large blue paper tubs. These took several scoops of kinetic sand to fill. My son placed the toothpick flags on top.
Finally my son spent ages scooping the kinetic sand into the plastic ice cream cones. I was impressed that my son used the back of the scoop to push the sand further into the cone. He obviously knows that is the way to get more icecream!
The great thing about our kinetic sand sensory bin is that it can be used time and time again. I transferred the sand into an airtight container for future play. Next time we use it I will simply add a few drops of water if the sand has dried out at all and it will be ready for more sensory fun.
If you’re looking for additional simple to set up activities, you should most surely check the Early Years Activity Set from our friend Jamie from Hands on: as we grow. This set is packed full of super easy and low preparation activities for toddlers and preschoolers. You can pick which one you want, according to your child’s age. She even planned several weeks of activities for you! Or you can use templates she provides and set your own plans for a week of fun discovering, playing, engaging and learning with kids!