Homemade sugar sand is a fun sensory activity to do with your kids. You can make DIY sugar sand in any color or fragrance you want. Kids can enjoy scooping it up, sculpting it and even hiding small objects under the sand. Easily make your own play sand using ingredients you have in the kitchen!
DIY sugar sand is technically edible and it tastes similar to fondant. It’s non-toxic, especially if you use food-based fragrances and colorants. However, I don’t advise eating sugar sand in large amounts. The soap fragrance that we used for our sugar sand is NOT edible. The sugar provides the sandy texture and helps the play sand to stick together for sculpting when moistened.
Fun Things about Sugar Sand!
Scented: We made DIY sugar sand scented with blueberry and strawberry soap fragrance. You could also experiment with adding food-based extracts and essential oils to your sugar sand.
Colored: I used food coloring to create the bright colors for our sugar sand. Gel food coloring will be brighter than water-based food coloring.
Interactive: It’s especially fun to hide small treasures in the sand for your child to discover. Kids can also help mix in sensory add-ins such as glitter, beads and small pom poms.
Customized: Make a boy’s sensory bin by adding small Legos, tiny dinosaurs, beads and rocks for boys to excavate and discover. Make a girls princess box by adding Barbie shoes, sequins, small dolls and over-sized beads.
How to Make Sugar Sand
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 cups cornstarch
- 1 to 2 tbsp. water
- Food coloring
- Fragrance or essential oils (optional)
- In a food processor, mix together 2 cups of sugar with 2 cups of cornstarch until fully blended and “sandy”.
- Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of water as desired to help the sugar sand stick together. More water will make the sand stickier.
- Add 1 to 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 the play sand into a plastic bin, add some tiny treasures, and enjoy exploring!
DIY Sugar Sand Sensory Bin
Create a sensory bin using this homemade sugar sand! Use a plastic storage container to hold the sand. Add a variety of small characters, creatures, large jewels, ice rocks, beads and pom poms to the box. Don’t forget to include a scoop and a toy magnifying glass.
Kids will be excited to dig around and discover so many treasures! Once your child is done exploring, you can put the lid on the box to save until next time. I’ve discovered that sensory play activities can be a great way to keep kids busy.
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I used this blueberry sugar sand to create an ocean-inspired sensory bin for my daughter. Playing with sugar sand is an engaging hands-on kids activity. I remind my kids to keep the sand inside the box if they want to keep playing with it.
Bring the Beach Home with Sugar Sand
Playing with sugar sand is also a fun way for kids to explore different textures, just like a child would experience at the beach. My daughter mixed some star sprinkles into her pink sand. I spread out a vinyl tablecloth on the floor so she could dump out her sugar sand and play “beach”. If some sugar sand does get on the floor, it’s easy to sweep up.
I hope your kids enjoy playing with this DIY sugar sand. You can easily make this sensory sand using ingredients you have in your kitchen. Who knew sugar and cornstarch could be so much fun!?
Hi, I’m Katie! I live with my husband and 3 kids in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. I love Jesus, coffee, creative projects, taking photos and traveling. I’ve previously worked as a web designer, journalist and barista. I hope you enjoy our creative projects and family adventures!