My kiddos are absolutely in love with Kinetic Sand; however, the stuff isn’t cheap. And when it comes to sensory play materials we spend through them like no tomorrow so having an affordable solution is a must. This recipe for DIY Kinetic Sand is very similar to what is available for sale, but it is not quite exactly the same.
This recipe was definitely a process of trial and error for me. I have a couple more ideas on what to give a go…so we shall see how those go. The key to making this sand work is:
- Find a very fine grain of sand. We picked ours up at a local Pet Store.
- Dry the sand out as much as possible. The more water in the mix the less similar it will be.
While this sand had a lot of the same attributes, it missed some of the stringiness that kinetic sand has. The ingredients listed for Kinetic Sand claim 98% sand, 2% polydimethylsiloxane (aka silicone oil). This is a known main ingredient in silly putty, but so is boric acid, so a part of me is wondering if boric acid is also included in the kinetic sand that is sold.
Most of the DIY Kinetic Sand recipes I was able to find out in internet land used the PDMS dimethicone which is popular among cosmetics or products such as liquid starch. Which technically should work…but, at least for me, this was a MAJOR fail (even with long bake times prior to mixing in attempts to dry out the sand completely). So I went on the hunt for a product that used hydroxy-terminated polydimethylsiloxane of low visocity…and yeah no luck finding anything in my area that even came close for a reasonable price…
So what did we do to make our kinetic sand work? We used an older batch of Liquid Starch Slime that was starting to deteriorate and very very slowly mixed in a pinch at a time. Best solution? No…but it made a really cool sand that is moldable, stretchy, and dry to the touch.
DIY Kinetic Sand
- 1 Bottle 5 oz Clear Glue
- 1 Cup Liquid Starch
- 2 Lbs. Ultra Fine Sand
Bake the sand for 4-5 hours at 120 degrees. You want as much moisture out of the sand as possible.
Pour a bottle of glue and the liquid starch into a bowl. Mix together.
You want your slime to be a bit on the runny side. If it is too stiff slowly add in more liquid starch.
Add a spoonful of slime at a time to the sand until you have a consistency that you enjoy!
**Do Not Use ALL The Slime that You Made!
The more slime that you add the less it will behave like kinetic sand.
If this does not work out for you experiment with different grain sizes of sand.