Kinetic sand is a new and creative toy that can provide children with hours of inventive fun.
It also has many adults hooked as its soft and silky feel 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 behaves much like wet sea sand, but it contains no water. Kinetic sand is made by coating normal sand with silicone oil. It comprises 98% fine sand and 2% “magic” silicon. The silicon makes the sand flow, move and gives it a certain elasticity. 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 simply left untouched, the shapes will slowly collapse sometimes in surprising and interesting ways. 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 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 of our 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 adhere to all safety regulations. They are therefore safe to touch and play with. Any child over the age of three can safely play with this exciting new substance. All small children should be supervised whilst at play.
Although kinetic sand is non-toxic, eating large quantities of it can be dangerous which is exactly why small children should not be allowed to play with the sand unsupervised.
The very properties that make the sand so much fun to mold and touch is the same reason why ingesting it could cause problems.
Large amounts of the sand could become stuck in the bowels because the movement of the bowels will simply 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.
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 will stick to nothing but itself, making it a dream to clean up. It is completely dry so there is no moisture left behind when you play with it.
Because it sticks to itself you simply pick up stray bits with a lump of the sand.
This ability to stick only to itself is what gives it its silky smoothness. It is total devoid of stickiness. It also won’t leave behind any color residue. Keep the sand in a play tray while in use for an even easier cleanup. If small amounts remain, vacuum the area.
- Rainy day fun:
Kids love to play in sand and in any playground, you’ll find the youngsters congregating for hours in the sandpit. Kinetic sand is good fun, and unlike the sand pit it is great for entertaining the children when its cold or wet out there.
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, developing the imagination and teaching children to build shapes and structures.
- Develop hand strength and improve fine motor skills:
Molding with the kinetic sand can help to develop hand strength and improve fine motor skills. Kinetic sand is the ideal gift for children with sensory disorders or for those undergoing occupational therapy.Sifting the sand between their fingers is relaxing and can help children to become accustomed to the texture of sand.
- Teach your children life skills:
You can 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 use it 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 the 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.
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 it gets wet. If your kinetic sands get wet drying it will return it to its smooth and silky texture.
How to Make Kinetic Sand
Making your own 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 measures.
Here’s how its done –
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 in a thin layer 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 table spoons 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 6 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.
Checkout our recommended premade kinetic sand