We love anything that sounds scientific at LittleLife HQ. This week we made kinetic, or mouldable ‘sand’. It was so quick to create and from just two ingredients you are likely to have at home.
Kinetic, or mouldable sand sticks to itself, but not other surfaces – and that’s the magic of it. It doesn’t dry out, so it is good for use time and again. Its frankly addictive texture makes it great for self-soothing fractious children, fidget-bottoms, and also for those with learning or sensory difficulties.
We know so many children who love sand but simply can’t help chucking it out into the grass or on to the patio, and before you know it, it’s all gone. But this is ‘special’ sand and can be marketed as such to your children in a bid to hold on to it for a little longer.
It is however, absolutely definitely NOT mess free! I made the bizarrely novice error of leaving my Little Explorers alone with this stuff. Inside. For approximately 1.5 minutes. The clear-up job took around 1.5 hours (or so it felt.)
All you need is four cups of flour and half a cup of baby oil. Colourings are optional, and although we tried with some green food dye, a powdered paint would have worked through the mixture more effectively.
Mix it all together until you have a perfectly soft and crumbly sand. It’s hard to stop playing with this special sand, which is also called ‘moon sand’. Encourage your Little Explorers to close their eyes and imagine they have landed on the surface of the moon! Seeding suggestions like this to imaginative little minds will set them off on a fabulous storytelling mission.
It smells like babies’ bottoms – that lovely baby oil smell which is so sweet and calming, so it is also safe for children who can’t process too much stimulation. Another great thing about this sand is that if you mould it with a particularly intricate bucket, all the little details will be imprinted perfectly. This is very satisfying for all the perfectionist children out there.
You can squeeze it, spread it out, crumble it and squish it. It’s ridiculously good. We remember spending hours at the beach trying to create the perfect combination of sand and water that could be moulded into strong sandcastles that didn’t dissolve. This is a winning alternative!
You could also style it up with shells, fossils and boats to make a miniature indoor beach. Our Little Explorers cut an ‘X marks the spot’ into the sand with a pirate’s dagger. Slicing it into neat oblongs is almost as satisfying as writing on a banana in biro. Just a suggestion...
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Expert Explorers: Did you know that sand is a mix-up of billions of tiny pieces of rocks and minerals. It is made from large boulders that been bashed about by wind or rocks. These chunks of rock keep on reducing in size until they create fine sand, and then silt. If you mix sand with water, you make our favourite thing in the world – mud!