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Kinetic Sand Recipe

Wondering how to make kinetic sand? This kinetic sand recipe uses just 3 ingredients to make a soft, moldable sand that provides hours of sensory play time.

Kinetic Sand with a Cookie Cutter

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Kinetic sand is basically sand that has other ingredients added to make it soft and crumbly like fine beach sand, but also able to hold its shape when squeezed in a mold.

Child Holding Kinetic Sand

This makes kinetic sand a lot of fun for kids to dig in like a sandbox, but they can also press it in their hands, cookie cutters, or other containers like candy molds.

You can buy all sorts of fun kinetic sand kits or moon sand kits online and in stores. But it’s easy to make your own kinetic sand, and then you can make as big a batch as you want.

There are several different types of kinetic sand you can make. Some use dish soap and water. Others are more of a sand slime. But my kids favorite kinetic sand recipe just uses colorful sand, cornstarch (or flour), and oil.


To make this kinetic sand recipe, just remember the ratio 5:3:1. That way, whether you have a measuring cup, or just a little container or scoop, you can get the ratio right.

It’s 5 parts sand, to 3 parts cornstarch (you can also sub flour for the cornstarch), and 1 part oil.

DIY Kinetic Sand

The recipe below uses a 1/2 cup measuring cup. So it’s 2 1/2 cups (5 scoops) of sand, 1 1/2 cups (3 scoops) of cornstarch, and 1/2 cup (1 scoop) of oil.


Kinetic Sand Ingredients and Supplies


You can use any variety of sand for your diy kinetic sand. Play sand from the hardware store works great, as does fine beach sand. We like to buy craft/decorators sand in different colors as the bright colors add to the sensory experience.


I prefer cornstarch because it is so silky. But in a pinch you can also make kinetic sand without cornstarch by using flour.


You can use any oil you like for kinetic sand. Cooking oil, baby oil, or mineral oil. We went with canola oil because I had a big jug of it that I rarely use.


Pouring sand for homemade kinetic sand.

Decide what kind of container you want for your kinetic sand (we used a glass casserole dish), and pour 5 scoops of sand into it.

Pouring cornstarch into sand for homemade kinetic sand.

Pour in the cornstarch.

Sand and Cornstarch Mixed for DIY Kinetic Sand

Mix the sand and cornstarch really well until completely incorporated.

Pouring oil into sand and cornstarch for DIY kinetic sand

Now pour in the oil.

DIY kinetic sand mixed together

Mix again, until there are no oily spots or dry spots.

Child playing in DIY kinetic sand

Play in the sand with hands, scoops, shovels, cups, spoons, cookie cutters, and more!


If you’re looking for sensory activities, check out our Toddler Goop Recipe, Slime Recipe, and Shaving Cream Sensory Painting.


Make sure to pin this kinetic sand recipe so you don’t lose it! If you make your own kinetic sand, we’d love to see a picture. You can post it in the comments of the pin!

Yield: 4.5 cups

Kinetic Sand Recipe

Child Holding Kinetic Sand

Wondering how to make kinetic sand? This kinetic sand recipe uses just 3 ingredients to make a soft, moldable sand that provides hours of sensory play time. Feel free to substitute flour if you don't have cornstarch. We used canola oil but you can also use olive oil, mineral oil, or baby oil. You will need to add food coloring if you are not starting with colored sand.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  1. Mix sand and cornstarch together completely. Sand Mixed with Cornstarch
  2. Add oil and mix well. Pouring oil into sand and cornstarch for DIY kinetic sand
  3. When there are no oily spots and no dry spots, the sand is ready for play time! DIY kinetic sand mixed together


If you wish to make this more like moon sand, you can mix in 1 tablespoon of dish soap at a time.

Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:

1 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 0

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17 thoughts on “Kinetic Sand Recipe”

  1. Thank you for this recipe! The dollar store sells decorative colored sand so I’ll be able to make colorful sand on the cheap! Thank you!

    • Head start is a wonderful program! We keep ours for months in a sealed container. It’s more a matter of how messy it gets from kids playing with it. Just give it a sniff from time to time to make sure it doesn’t have any odor indicating bacteria.

  2. Hi,
    Your recipe looks terrific, about to try making it. Would I be able to add food color to the oil to color the sand?

  3. May I ask if you just add one tablespoon of dishsoap to your three ingredient recipe to make it moon sand like? I had tried other recipes using dish soap and water but the sand is super wet and sticky (even after leaving for few hours)… thank you!

  4. This worked great for us! We used regular play sand, potato starch and a mix of olive and baby oil. Love the texture and the kiddos are having a great time playing with it! It was fun for my son to mix up. Thanks for the great, easy recipe!


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