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The Best Homemade (and Taste-Safe!) Kinetic Sand Recipe for Kids

This kid-friendly DIY is natural and taste-safe, all while providing a pleasant sensory experience. Here's how to make sustainable kinetic sand.

kinetic sand recipe
Written by
Calin Van Paris
It's sand! It's clay! Who cares, it's tactilely addictive! That's right, we're talking about kinetic sand, a play material that provides a calming yet stimulating
sensory experience
for kids and parents alike.
Kinetic sand is a popular playstuff that mimics wet sand's moldable qualities and dry sand's granular qualities, all sans the damp (and much of the mess). This seemingly magical feat is traditionally accomplished with the help of a
coating of trimethylhydroxysilane
, a chemical that allows the silica sand to repel water. The chemical results in fine strands that web their way through the grains and hold it all together.
Though now a common play activity, kinetic sand was originally created to clean up oil spills, attracting the oil while repelling the water. Now, those in want of a relaxing tactile activity (that also hones fine motor skills like scooping and squeezing) reach for kinetic sand.
Of course, social media makers have taken the toy to the next level, creating natural options that are malleable, sustainable, and even okay to eat (should the inevitable occur).
If you ask creators like
Tulip and Clover
, you'll find that making kinetic sand at home is as easy as combining some common pantry ingredients with a touch of natural dye—in this case, spirulina powder.
DIY kinetic sand may lack the hair-like strands that make the storebought stuff so fascinating, but the eco alternative makes up for the lapse in safety and simplicity. If you're in want of an alternative to spirulina's blue, use edible items like onion skins (orange), beets (red), spinach (green), and more to create a rainbow of
natural dyes
while reducing
food waste
Here, Tulip and Clover's
for DIY and naturally-dyed kinetic sand.

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How to Make Homemade Kinetic Sand

kinetic sand recipe
1/2 baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
5 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp spirulina powder
1-2 Tbsp water
1. Add baking soda, sugar, cornstarch, and cream of tartar to a glass bowl.  
2. Combine spirulina powder with water to create a natural coloring,
3. Add the natural dye to the bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Finish combining with hands.
4. Your finished kinetic sand will be an appealing (and natural) blue hue. Play away!