Making sugar sand is a fun sensory activity to do with your kids. You can make it any color or fragrance you want. Kids can enjoy scooping it up, sculpting it and even hiding small objects within the sand. You can make your own sugar sand in just a few easy steps.
Sugar sand is technically edible and it tastes similar to fondant. It’s non-toxic, especially if you use food-based fragrances and colorants, but we don’t advise eating it in large amounts. The sugar provides the sandy texture and helps the sugar sand to stick together for sculpting when moistened.
We made Blueberry Sugar Sand and Strawberry Sugar Sand. You could also experiment with mixing different colors and adding small treasures for your child to discover. Let your child choose what she wants to add to the sand, such as glitter, beads and small pom poms. To make a boy-themed sensory bin, you could add small legos or tiny dinosaurs, beads and rocks for kids to excavate and discover.
How to Make Sugar Sand
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups cornstarch
- 1-2 tbsp. water
- Food coloring
- Fragrance or essential oils (optional)
In a food processor, mix together 2 cups sugar with 2 cups cornstarch until fully blended and “sandy”.
Add 1-2 tablespoons of water as desired to help the sugar sand stick together. More water will make the sand more sticky.
Add 1-2 drops of soap fragrance or essential oils.
Add a few drops of food coloring.
Blend the sugar sand in the food processor until all the ingredients are fully mixed. Dump it into a plastic bin, add any desired tiny treasures and enjoy exploring!
Sugar and cornstarch sand is a fun activity for your kids to help make too! My daughter loves helping me cook, even at age 3. I love including her in every activity I can so she learns new things and practices her motor skills.
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Sugar Sand Discovery Treasure Box
You can give your child a bin of sugar sand with tiny items buried under the sand. Kids will be excited to dig around and discover so many treasures! We put some dolls, tiny cups, sparkly pom poms, jewels, and several marbles in our sugar sand sensory bin. This is a great preschool activity for kids. Once your child is done exploring, you can put a lid on the box to save until next time.
This sugar sand sensory bin has a Frozen-inspired theme. Anna and Elsa look right at home surrounded by so many sparkly blue things. Playing with sugar sand is a great kid’s party activity too! You could coordinate the sand and toys to match the party theme. Additionally, kids could take the surprises they discover home as party favors.
You can store your sugar and cornstarch sand in a glass jar or bottle. It won’t really dry out but a jar will keep the sugar sand clean and ready for the next playtime.
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Sugar sand is a very low-maintenance activity that impressively holds a child’s attention. It’s easy to make and easy to quickly get out. While kids play with your homemade sugar sand, kids can learn about colors and textures as they practice their motor skills.
Bring the Beach Home with Sugar Sand
Sugar sand is a fun way for kids to explore different textures, just like a child would experience at the beach. We added some color to our pink sugar sand by mixing in star sprinkles. I let my child play on the floor on top of a vinyl tablecloth for easy clean-up. Sugar sand easily vacuums up too, provided that it’s not too wet or sticky.
Sugar Sand Cupcakes & Castles
Sugar and cornstarch sand gets really sticky when wet. You can sculpt it into cupcakes, a sand castle, or creatures using fun sand molds. When you want to dry it out again, just put it back into the food processor with more cornstarch and blend until it’s back to its original sandy texture.
We hope your own kids enjoy playing with this DIY sugar sand. Mix some up for your own family to play with, using ingredients already in your kitchen. Who knew sugar and cornstarch could inspire so much fun?
What will you create with sugar sand?
Katie is a writer and influencer based in beautiful Coeur d’Alane, Idaho. She enjoys DIY projects, photography, decorating and going on family adventures. She feels blessed to be a wife, a stay-at-home mom to three kids and a Pacific Northwest lifestyle blogger.