Kinetic sand is a new and creative toy that can provide children with hours of inventive fun.
It also has many adults hooked due to its soft and silky feel, which relieves stress and anxiety. Like clay, the sand can be molded into shapes and forms, making it a favorite in any child’s toybox, but is it safe?
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What is kinetic sand?
Kinetic sand is made by coating normal sand with silicone oil; it comprises 98% fine sand and 2% “magic” silicone. The silicone makes the sand flow, move, and gives it a certain elasticity in the same manner as wet sea sand, but it contains no water. When the grains are pressed together, the substance displays the finer detail of the shapes and molds used to form it.
To add to the fun, kinetic sand comes in a wide variety of bright colors, from neon to metallic. Use it to build three-dimensional objects such as castles, roads, and houses.
Say goodbye to the cookie cutters, molds, straws, cardboard tubes, and toys for hours of creative fun.
The material molds easily with crisp, defined lines. You can also slice it cleanly with a knife. If the structure is bumped or left untouched, the shapes will slowly collapse, sometimes surprising and interestingly. This is because the silicon makes the grains of sand stick together. If just one grain starts to dislodge from the molded shape, others will follow, causing the collapse of the entire structure.
Kinetic sand is soft and velvety. It does not have the grainy texture of regular sand. The sand moves organically, and you may notice that some children become almost mesmerized by the silky feel of the material. It seems to have an almost meditative effect on children, so it is a great way to soothe over-energetic children. Adults may also enjoy the soothing effects of playing with the sand.
Is Kinetic sand safe for kids?
As we now know, kinetic sand is made from sand and silicone. Silicones are polymers that contain long chains of oxygen and silicon. They are found in many everyday household products, from cosmetics to conditioners and household lubricants. Silicon is anti-microbial and non-toxic, and it contains no allergens.
Most commercially manufactured kinetic sand adheres to all safety regulations. They are, therefore, safe to touch and play with. Any child over three can safely play with this exciting new substance. Adults should supervise all small children while at play.
Although kinetic sand is non-toxic, eating large quantities of it can be dangerous, so small children should not be allowed to play with the sand unsupervised.
The same properties that make the sand so much fun to mold and touch are the exact properties that make ingesting it problematic.
Large amounts of the sand could become stuck in the bowels because the movement of the bowels will mold and form the sand rather than move it.
While consuming small amounts of sand will not cause harm, removing large amounts of kinetic sand from the bowel may require extreme methods such as surgery.
Keep the sand safely out of reach of dogs, as there are reports of dogs eating large amounts of the sand and requiring surgery to remove it. If a large amount has been consumed, induced vomiting could save a trip to the surgery room.
If you or your child have a history of allergies or skin sensitivities, it is recommended to test a small amount of kinetic sand on the skin before playing with it to ensure there is no adverse reaction.
Benefits of kinetic sand
Here are the several benefits of playing with kinetic sand.
- Easy to clean:
Kinetic sand is like wet sea sand. It is completely dry and leaves no moisture behind when used. It will stick to nothing but itself, making it a dream to clean up. Because it sticks to itself, you pick up stray bits with a lump of sand. This ability to stick only to itself gives it its silky smoothness. It is devoid of stickiness. It also won’t leave behind any color residue. Keep the sand in a play tray while in use for even easier cleanup. If small amounts remain, vacuum the area.
- Rainy day fun:
Kids love to play in the sand, and youngsters congregate for hours in any playground in the sandpit. Kinetic sand is good fun, and unlike the sandpit, it is excellent for entertaining children when it’s cold or wet outside.It is not as messy as playdough. Sandboxes can be full of parasites and bacteria; kinetic sand is anti-microbial.
- Learning and development:
Supervised play with kinetic sand can help your child to develop hand-eye coordination. It encourages creativity, develops imagination, and teaches children to build shapes and structures.
- Develop hand strength and improve fine motor skills:
Kinetic sand is the ideal gift for children with sensory disorders or those undergoing occupational therapy. Sifting the sand between their fingers is relaxing and can help children become accustomed to the sand’s texture. Molding with kinetic sand can help develop hand strength and fine motor skills.
- Teach your children life skills:
Use the sand to teach your children life skills with plastic utensils and shaped sand. Kinetic sand is ideal for teaching children about shapes and patterns or used to teach children about fractions by cutting shapes into equal parts.
- Environmentally friendly:
Kinetic sand is not harmful to the environment and can be disposed of in the trash. Your children can safely use kinetic sand outside on the lawn. Small amounts dropped onto the grass will not kill the grass, but don’t leave big heaps of sand lying on the grass. The sand will prevent the grass from getting oxygen and moisture. This will cause the grass to become discolored and die.
How to Use Kinetic Sand Safely?
Kinetic sand is generally safe for children of all ages. However, it is recommended that children under the age of 3 should not be allowed to play with kinetic sand unsupervised. This is because the sand can be a choking hazard if ingested. Always check the packaging for age recommendations before purchasing kinetic sand for your child.
It is important to supervise your child while they are playing with kinetic sand. This is especially important for younger children who may be more likely to put the sand in their mouth. Make sure your child understands that the sand is not edible and should not be eaten. If your child has a tendency to put things in their mouth, it may be best to wait until they are a bit older before introducing them to kinetic sand.
It is also important to keep kinetic sand away from pets, as they may mistake it for food and ingest it. If your pet does ingest kinetic sand, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Storing Kinetic Sand
Unlike beach sand, kinetic sand will never dry out. Keep the sand in a closed box and wipe the table when you use it, as the sand will not mold as effectively when it becomes badly soiled.
The sand is sensitive to humidity and may lose its silky texture if wet. If your kinetic sand gets wet dry it so it returns to it’s smooth and silky texture.
When not in use, kinetic sand should be stored in an airtight container to prevent it from drying out. This will also help keep the sand clean and free from dust and dirt. Make sure the container is labeled and stored out of reach of children when not in use.
How to Make Kinetic Sand
Making your kinetic sand is quick and easy, and it’s another learning opportunity for your children who can learn how to make mixtures using cups and measurements.
Here’s how you do it –
Kinetic Sand Recipe
- Find soft, fine sand. The type sold at craft shops is ideal.
- The sand must be completely free of moisture. Place it thinly on a baking tray and dry it in the oven at a low temperature for three to four hours.
- Place four cups of sand into a measuring bowl.
- Add two tablespoons of corn starch to the mixture using a measuring spoon.
- Obtain the required polymers from dishwashing soap.
- Mix one tablespoon of dishwashing liquid into a cup of water
- Add six drops of food coloring.
- Pour the soapy water gently into the sand.
- Use only as much of the solution as you need to make the right consistency.
- Have fun!
Hours of family fun
Kinetic sand is a great way to keep your little ones occupied while helping them to develop motor and creative skills – learning from play. Children have played in the sand since the dawn of time.
Now they can do it indoors in a safe, clean, and sanitary environment.
Check out our recommended premade kinetic sand.