Play and Learn with Kinetic Sand

May 22, 2014

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This post is sponsored by Finlee and Me

A while back I started seeing people online playing with something called, "Kinetic Sand". It looked like quite an incredible substance from what I could gather, so when I was contacted to see if I'd like to try some out, I didn't hesitate.

What is Kinetic Sand?

Kinetic sand is made up of 98% actual sand and 2% "magic". (That's what the box says.) That 2% is some sort of polymer that makes it able to stick to itself like wet sand would, but be completely dry and constantly re-usable.
Kinetic sand is mouldable and allows for very crisp, precise designs. It crumbles down like real sand would but has a strange flowing movement. Quite hypnotic to watch.
The best way that I could describe it is like playing with a combination of wet sand but not wet, and brown sugar but not sticky. It's pretty hard to compare to other things though, because it really is like nothing we've used before. You just have to try it yourself.

Benefits of Kinetic Sand

  • Allows you to play indoors with sand without the mess
  • Easy to clean up as it sticks to itself. (Even spills on the floor or on carpet are relatively easy to gather back up)
  • Amazing sensory experience
  • Will never dry out. Just keep it in a container to keep dust out.
  • Allows for open-ended creativity for all
  • Calming experience
  • Enjoyed by both children and adults
  • Non-toxic and Microbial (not that I'd recommend eating any!)

Play and Learning with Kinetic Sand

Here are just some of the ways that we have been playing and learning with our kinetic sand.

An invitation to explore
Open ended creativity and exploration
Whilst creating something specific, forming a dialogue about it helps with language development. She was creating a dam and it had to be even all the way around.
"This bit is too thin, it needs to be thicker like the other side." Just playing turns into discussing mathematical concepts of size, space and symmetry
My 5 year old loved chopping away at bits of it. It seemed magical in the way that the sides held their form.
Creativity, learning about animals and imprinting patterns
Chopping through a pile of what looks like loose sand. It felt like the parting of the red seas.
Amazing stuff. We talked here about separating things and about 2 equal parts.
Every adult that came to my house couldn't resist playing with it. We discovered you could roll spheres out of the sand and roll them without them coming apart. We tested all sizes and found this largish marble size was about as small as we could go.  Building challenge.. using the 1kg we created a marble with marble run.. that worked! Can you?
A full kilogram of kinetic sand rolled into a ball. Because of the weight, it will only last a little while before cracking and then slowly floating apart. I wasn't quick enough to get a picture before it cracked.
Construction building with kinetic sand. Just like building with real sand only it slides out perfectly each time
We discovered that when not packed really firmly, the weight of another cube on top started to make our first cube sink. We talked about weight, size and quantities. All with a 2 year old.
The ultimate building challenge. The tunnel. Did you love doing this with sand as a child? You can with kinetic sand as well but be sure to pack firmly. :)
An invitation to play with Kinetic Sand and natural materials
Fun for imprinting and general exploratory and sensory play
Making patterns in Kinetic Sand with shells and seed pods.
Kinetic sand makes the best imprints. Have a go at imprinting all kinds of things in it. We loved the intricate detail and patterns of these seed pods.
Handprint in Kinetic Sand.
Toddler Life Skills: Scooping and tipping. Spoon work. Kinetic sand is so good for this!
Toddler Life Skills: Spreading. We used some pretend bread and a plastic knife to spread "butter" on the bread. It worked really well.
Toddler Life Skills: Knife skills, cutting. SO good for cutting. It's quicker to roll into shapes and get back together than playdough.
Counting and learning numbers. We made little mounds and counted out and stuck different amounts of cottonbud sticks (Q-tips) in them.
Making words in kinetic sand with magnetic letters (or plastic or wooden letters. Whatever you have)
Imprinting letters to form words in Kinetic Sand. Cool! I loved how the sand didn't get stuck in places as it is better at sticking to itself.
Moulding letters out of Kinetic sand. Great for learning letters, your name, spelling, sight words etc.
Writing in Kinetic Sand. Great for practicing writing and handwriting. A fun novelty and leaves a good clear line so that children can learn to form their letters correctly.

They are just some of the ways that we have been playing and learning with our Kinetic sand. There are so many possibilities when you have open ended materials like these. 

You can go here to purchase your own lot of Kinetic Sand. There are cool modelling tools available as well!


Finlee and Me are a great Australian online kids shop specialising in lovely and unique stuff for kids and babies. Thanks to them, we have 3 x 1kg Kinetic Sand packs to giveaway.

To enter, check out Finlee and Me's great range of kids toys and then answer the following question in the comments:

If you could choose any toy for your child from Finlee and Me. What would it be and why?

Conditions of Entry: This competition is now over. Congratulations to Linda Cleary, Mel Wylie and Sonia Randhawa.

  • This competition is open to Australian residents only
  • Become a fan of the Finlee and Me FB page
  • Leave a comment on this post with your favourite toy from the Finlee and Me website and why
  • This is not a game of chance. This is a game of skill and the 3 most creative responses, as judged by us will each win a 1kg box of kinetic sand including postage within Australia.
  • Winners will be notified on this comment feed and further correspondence will be conducted via email. Please check back to see if you have won. If you leave an email address we will contact you directly. Winners need to contact us within 48 hours or the prize will go to the next runners up. 
  • If you leave an ANONYMOUS comment, please remember to leave a name.
  • Entries open 9am (AEST) Thursday 22nd of May, and close midnight (AEST) Thursday 29th of May. Winners will be announced the following Wednesday, 4th of June on this post.

Have you played with kinetic sand before? What did you think?

Happy playing,
Debs :)

{Disclosure: this post is sponsored by Finlee and Me. As always, opinions expressed in this post are my own.}

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