Make Your Own Colored Sand

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 We have been playing outside so much recently.  Our sandbox is right outside and the kids are in there daily. We added a little color to some of the sand this week and have been having fun with our colored sand!

 How to make Colored Sand

 We made a simple batch of colored sand very easily.  Big Sister helped me with this and we had fun while the little kids were napping.
So how did we make our colored sand?
Scoop a little sand into plastic baggies.
Add around 10-15 drops of food coloring.
Seal the baggie and shake it up. (great for some gross motor play!!)
Let the sand dry and have fun playing.  We left our sand right in the open baggies and let it dry overnight.  If you wanted to play right away, you could spread the sand out on a tray and it would dry much sooner.
using food coloring to make colored sand
add food coloring to baggies of sand
So the next day, we spread the sand out on a tray and played!  She loves making pictures in the sand and telling stories (like Nina on Sprout!)  This was such a fun activity.  She told me all kinds of stories, made words, and we practiced some lower case letter formation.

Use Colored Sand on a Tray for Letter Learning

Big Sister is knows how to make most lowercase letters and can copy all of the letters.  This is a great activity for letter formation and practicing handwriting.  The sand adds a sensory aspect to letter formation. Using a large tray like this one adds whole arm movements which are perfect for the young child who is just learning letter formation.  I love the contrast that the white tray adds to the colored sand.
We played for a long time with this (again during Little Kid nap time).
colored sand on tray for child to form letters
Of course, when you have bags of colored sand, you have to mix the colors together to see what happens 🙂
How can you grade this activity for different aged children?
  • Toddlers would love to explore the colors and sensation of the sand on their fingers.
  • Pre-writers can copy and trace shapes, zig-zag and intersecting lines
  • Early writers can trace upper case letters.
  • Older hand-writers can copy a word from a card positioned off to the side. 
  • Practice spelling words with school-aged kids.
We saved our bags of colored sand and will be using them again.  Have you done any projects with colored sand? 

10 thoughts on “Make Your Own Colored Sand”

  1. The mess wasn't too bad with this one. The sand stayed pretty much on the tray, though we did play out on the porch, just in case 🙂 We've had MUCH bigger messes!

  2. Does the sand bleed colors if it gets wet? I'd like to do a HUGE batch of this for my son's sandbox but I'm afraid when he puts water in the sandbox he color will bleed and he will get dye all over himself.

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