DIY Kinetic Sand

My son has been home sick 2½ days this week and we’ve had rainy weather to boot! The poor thing was getting a little stir crazy so I wanted to do a fun activity to entertain him. He only had a little cold but I didn’t want to take him out too much as he could be contagious and I didn’t want him to get worse with the wet weather. I found this easy recipe for kinetic sand from sugaraunts.com and doubled it so we would have more sand to play with. The best part is this sand is made with only three ingredients! Here’s an easy way to make kinetic-like sand for your kids.

*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Play Sand – 4 cups
  • Shaving Cream – 12oz total
  • Baking Soda – 16oz
  • Plastic bin

I purchased all the ingredients at the dollar store but you can pretty much get them anywhere. I had leftover sand from the Sand Footprint Art we did a while back that I had bought from the home improvement store.
Clothing & Accessories

My toddler assistant helped me measure out the four cups of sand and put it in the plastic bin.

DIY Kinetic Sand

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I then mixed the entire box of baking soda into the sand thoroughly.

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I prepared the play area in my son’s room by using an old sheet to help contain the impending mess. It had been raining for days so there was no way we were going outside for this activity. We settled in and my assistant shook the shaving cream bottle vigorously before I helped him spray it on the sand in the plastic bin.

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diy-kinetic-sand-8This was a fun way to help him with his motor skills as using a spray can was a new concept for him. Actually, the only other spray can my little guy was familiar with up until this point was whipped cream. One night Grandma showed him what whipped cream was and how to eat it out of his hand (he didn’t like the idea of it being sprayed directly into his mouth). He still has so much to learn! 😉

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So once you spray about 6oz of shaving cream into the bin you can start mixing the shaving cream and sand with your hands.

diy-kinetic-sand-9My little one was a bit hesitant to mix the sand with his hands until I stuck my hands in and helped him.

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That’s when the fun really started! We would stick our hands in at the same time and squish the sand while making funny sounds and silly faces at each other.

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The sand was a bit sticky at first but slowly turned into what kinetic sand feels like. Moldable but not wet would be the best way to describe it. It was a really interesting texture.

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picmonkey-collage-2We had a lot of fun mixing the sand together and saved it in a plastic container to play with at a later date. Next time we’ll break out some sand tools to mold shapes. I kept the remaining 6oz of shaving cream to add to the sand in case it dries out in between uses. I know that the texture definitely changed from start to end when we were playing with it. It seemed to get a little bit stiffer as it dried out to where it felt more like damp sand than kinetic sand.

This was definitely a great way to lift my son’s spirits after being stuck in the house for a few days. We had a great time with the sand and even with clean-up afterwards. We quickly hosed the sand off in the yard right before bath time to avoid putting sand down the drain.

I’m looking forward to using the sand again and seeing if it feels the same or if it dried out. Have you made kinetic sand for your kids? Tell me about your experience below. I’d love to hear from you!

 

Cheers!

~ James

Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

My wife and I both work from home and spend a lot of time in our home office. Because of this, we produce a decent amount of paper that not only needs to be recycled but also shredded. One typical afternoon I picked our son up from school and brought him into the office to see his mama. I walked out and came back to find that our son had discovered the bag of shredded paper and had begun to make it ‘snow’ in the office. It was a hilarious sight to behold. My wife sitting there with a huge smile on her face while our son threw shredded paper anywhere he could think; himself, my wife, the dog. Absolutely everything took a hit. The only downfall was the clean-up, but it did give me the idea for an easy sensory bin.

Shredded Paper Sensory Bin

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Here’s what we used:

  • Plastic Bin – Wal-Mart
  • Hand Digger – You can find something very similar here.
  • Plastic Shovel & Rake
  • Tweezers – You can find them here.
  • Lots of shredded paper

We chose a rainy Florida afternoon to officially try out the shredded paper sensory bin. After piling the paper and tools into the bin we placed them on the floor of our son’s room. It didn’t take long before the fun began.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinOur munchkin started slowly using the tools to dig around in the paper. That quickly turned into an excited toddler tornado.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe started by putting the tools down and throwing shredded paper into the air.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe ran over to my wife and threw shredded paper on her while we tried to slow him down with calls of, “keep the shreddings in one place,” to no avail.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe threw paper on me, his toys, and himself. Anything that he thought needed a little extra something got a couple of handfuls of shredded paper.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe closed out the craziness by dumping the rest of it on his own head. It was certainly a sight to see.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinHe had such an absolute blast making the biggest mess he could muster.

Shredded Paper Sensory BinThe whole ordeal only encompassed 15-30 minutes, but boy was it worth it to see him have such a great time!

Shredded Paper Sensory BinThe clean up fell to me as my wife and son quickly cleared out of the disaster area to get ready for dinner. A quick run through with the broom and vacuum made quick work of the paper. A clean up I will gladly endure every single time!

Have you tried something like this with your kids? What was the outcome? Please share in the comments below.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Frozen Dinosaur Dig & Sensory Play

As you know, I’m a proud daddy & love spending time with my toddler son. My wife & I enjoy coming up with new and creative ideas to entertain him. Right now he’s very much into dinosaurs. Every time he sees a dinosaur toy (or anything) he says “Grrr” and Dine-”O”! It’s just the cutest thing how excited he gets over them. Over the weekend, we put together this cool (pun intended), frozen dinosaur dig & sensory play for the munchkin. I found a similar project from Parenting Chaos where they used balloons to freeze small toy dinosaurs and thought I would try it with leftover Easter eggs. My munchkin also had a T-Rex sand mold lying around in his beach toys, so I wanted to incorporate that as well.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

*This post contains affiliate links at no cost to you.

Here’s what we used:

  • Plastic Bin (16 7/8” L x 11 1/2” W x 5 7/8” H) – Wal-Mart
  • Smaller Tupperware Bin – Our Kitchen Cupboard 😉
  • Small Plastic Dinosaur Toys – Found at Dollar Tree. You can also get Vinyl Mini Dinosaurs (72 count) to help teach sorting & counting or these cute guys here.
  • T-Rex Sand Mold – From Dollar Tree but you can also get a cool 3-pack here.
  • Rocks (or something else heavy to hold the sand mold down in the bin)
  • Plastic Easter Eggs – Originally Purchased at Wal-Mart for Easter.
  • Larger Dinosaur Toys – From Dollar Tree but you can get something similar here.
  • Ice
  • Water

*Please use caution & supervise your children closely when playing with small toys. If they are at the age where they put everything in their mouth, the small toys could be a choking hazard.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Start by placing the T-Rex dinosaur mold upside down in the plastic bin. Place the “skeleton” pieces to position him in his final state. May he rest in peace. Place the rocks or any other heavy objects that you don’t mind getting wet on top of the pieces to hold them in place. This way the pieces don’t move around too much. Gently pour just enough water to slightly cover the pieces because you are going to want to be able to remove the rocks before the final freeze. Put in the freezer and wait. Once the first layer of water has frozen, remove the rocks carefully and cover the area with ice until the bin is about half-full. I’m a half-full kind of guy! Pour ice water to fill the bin and return to the freezer for the final freeze. Be careful to do this quickly & make sure to use ice water so the ice doesn’t start melting.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory PlayCooper & Kid Cooper Kit Subscription Box for Dads And KidsThe dinosaur eggs were much easier to do. Fill a medium Tupperware with water. Open each dinosaur egg under water and place a small plastic dinosaur in the egg. You may need to “tuck-in” a tail or two to get them to fit. Close the egg underwater and continue until all the eggs are filled. The eggs we used had holes in them so we decided to freeze them in the Tupperware full of water so we wound up with a block of frozen dinosaur eggs.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

On a very hot Florida afternoon, the wife & I decided to break out the frozen dinosaur ice excavation bins we made for the kiddo. We placed the plastic bins upside-down on the grass and they quickly separated from the ice. My son stood in amazement at this awesome new finding, wondering what the heck it was. I told him that he needed to help get the dinosaurs out of the ice. He repeated “Dino?” with excitement. I brought the hose over to help speed up the melting time. My son loved playing with the hose and spraying the larger dinosaurs off the block of ice. It was a prehistoric slip and slide. We made a game of that for a while. We talked about how the ice is cold and is made of frozen water. My son would say “Brrr” every time we used the word “cold”. We showed him how the water melted the ice and he got into that as well. Then we referred to the bigger dino’s as the mama’s and dada’s and the smaller dinosaurs as the babies. He repeated after us and would call them mama, dada, & Baby accordingly. We continued to “hatch” the babies from the eggs while explaining how eggs hatch in nature. Of course, our 20-month-old didn’t exactly grasp everything we were talking about, but he sure had a fun time repeating after us and going through the motions of dino retrieval.

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

We had so much fun watching and playing with our munchkin during this activity. I highly recommend it for toddlers. You could get creative with it and freeze other types of toys or add food coloring to the water. If your kids are older, you could make a competition out of who can melt the ice faster. The possibilities are endless!

Dinosaur Ice Excavation Sensory Play

If your kids are 8 or older & maybe want something a little bit more challenging, have fun with the Smithsonian Diggin’ Up Dinosaurs T-Rex where you can dig up and assemble the T-Rex bones.

Have you tried something like this with your kids? What was the outcome? Please share in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by!

~ James