Busy Hands: Coloured Sand and Moon Sand

Sand has been one of Little Dude's earliest play materials. He's always loved playing with his sand toys, and since we have a lot of it around here in Dubai, I wanted to do more with it! My first thought was to make coloured sand, because anything colourful is always fun for toddlers.

Coloured Sand and Moon Sand

We also experimented with moon sand, a type of sand which you can use to shape the sand and make it retain it's shape longer (something like this Sandy Cloud Dough we made earlier). 

Colouring sand is not easy, and there are many variants you will find online - coloured sand can be made with Epsom salts or powdered chalks. But that's more of like the 'desert sand' structure. I like the wonderful texture that beach sand has, and wanted to work with it, but you could try this with regular sand, but test it with a little quantity first. 

Here's what you need to make coloured sand:
- 2 cups Sifted beach sand
- 1 tablespoon Food colouring
- 2 cups Water

I put the sand in big containers and filled them with just enough water to make it very wet. I then put about the food colouring in, and mixed it well. The quantities above are approximate, so be sure to put in little amounts at a time. 

I left the container to dry a little. Then, I spread out the wet sand on a newspaper, and left it outside (in a shade) for close to two days. If the weather is humid or yet, you can dry it indoors, but it will take longer. I made sure the sand was really dry before giving it to Little Dude to play with, because, otherwise, the colouring will stain. 

I made blue and red sand since it was more of an experiment, and with the original sand, it becane tricoloured! Little Dude loved playing with it, and on mixing, the sand looked beautiful.

Playing with coloured sand

Afterwards, I thought of trying my hand at making moon sand, and mixed in some corn flour and water. Little Dude helped me with this, so he put in more water than necessary and the result was more 'muddy' than regular moon sand. But it was a hit, and he played with it for longer than with the sand! It was great to make shapes in, and just play around with.

Moon sand play

You can also find great recipe for coloured moon sand on The Imagination Tree.

If your children haven't experimented with sand yet, then you must give this a try! It's one of those activities that isn't as messy as others, but so much fun for toddlers and young kids.

Busy Hands series

(Busy Hands is a series about activities and craft you can do with toddlers and young children).

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Tarana said...


Let's Talk Mommy said...

This looks fantastic. I bet Buba would love it. MissyMoo might still be too young and just eat it all. But at least her poo would be colorful. Love the vibrant colors of sand together. I bet it was fun to play with the moon sand too. Love the photos. Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me. #sharewithme

Tarana said...

The colours did look great, too bad I only experimented with two!

Sam said...

I've never thought of sand play before Tarana - I get a bit OCD about the mess! But I have always been intrigued by the whole cornflour thing and moonsand looks like fun! #sharewithme

Susanne Remic said...

Aha! I've been wanting to make coloured sand for a while so thanks for sharing! We colour our moon sand already but wanted something a little different for the sandpit outside. Just need it to stop raining now!
x x

Tarana said...

Moon sand will be less messier because it won't fly around as much! Or maybe you can experiment with cloud dough. Sand does get a bit messy, unless you play outside.

Tarana said...

Hope the kids have fun with it!

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