This weekend, my daughter and two friends road-tested one of the activities from KinderCare’s summer curriculum – they had a blast playing with “moon sand.” It’s easy to make, not too messy, and great for outdoor play. Moon sand is best for kids aged 2 through Pre-K, although I will say that even the grownups couldn’t resist getting our hands dirty.
You Will Need:
Moon Sand Ingredients (makes one batch):
Cornstarch (3 cups)
Play sand (6 cups)**
Water, cold (1 ½ cups)
Water table or large, shallow plastic tub
Measuring cups, mixing bowl
**Decorative white sand that you can buy in garden supply stores or in the gardening section of your supermarket works, too. That’s what I used.
- Mix water and cornstarch in mixing bowl until smooth.
- Place cornstarch mixture in water table or large, shallow plastic tub and add the sand one cup at a time. Mix the sand with the cornstarch mixture using your hands after each new addition of sand.
- If making ahead of time, place moon sand in air-tight container until ready to use.
- If the moon sand is too stiff, just add more water.
- Encourage your child to explore the moon sand by feeling it. Sculpt it like clay, press it flat, or trace in it.
- As your child explores, notice how he or she uses hand muscles to shape and form it. Model to your child how to form familiar objects, press the moon sand flat, or create shapes and letters.
- Encourage your child to think about how the sand feels. Is the sand rough or smooth? Is the sand warm or cold? Use descriptive language about the moon sand with your child.
From our Education Department
As your child explores and experiments with materials such as moon sand, you can help him or her develop fine-motor skills. For example, squeezing the moon sand strengthens arm muscles and tracing in it builds hand and finger muscles. If your child needs extra support in practicing these skills, provide opportunities such as cutting and drawing. Over time and with practice, your child’s skills will continue to develop and grow.