It’s Squishy, It’s Crumbly . . .
And it crunches like a tiny bean bag when you squeeze it tight. You can mold with it, or you can smash it to smithereens.
What is it? Moon sand, of course! We’re big fans homemade play dough around here, but this stuff is a totally different sensory experience.
The potami love it, and I love that we can make it together in less than 10 minutes. You guys, TEN MINUTES . . . and that’s if they help. Every parent knows ten minutes is nothing if it means your kids are so fascinated they don’t notice you sneaking off to the bathroom by yourself.
Plus, It’s Gluten-Free And Baby Friendly
In fact, if your little one is likely to eat some sand or has trouble with topical exposure to gluten/grains, it can even be completely grain-free. Not that my kids ever eat sand . . .
Since arrowroot is a traditional first food for babies in some cultures I chose that instead of cornstarch for our recipe. That way I don’t have to be concerned about Babypotamus taste-testing a little of this stuff while he plays with his big brother and sister.
Moon Sand Recipe
- 4 cups cornstarch or arrowroot powder (where to buy non-GMO cornstarch, where to buy arrowroot powder)
- 1 cup coconut oil, melted (find quality coconut oil here)
- food coloring, if desired*
*I like India Tree and Maggie’s Naturals. However, I wanted to kick up the color intensity of our moon sand without going through my entire natural food dye stash, so I concocted my own with some glycerin and stuff from my fridge. Details below.
Step One: Add arrowroot powder or cornstarch to a medium/large bowl. You may want to use a spoon to transfer the powder so that it doesn’t send up a small puff of “smoke” into the air. I was taking photos so I just let Katie go for it, and she thought the “smoke” was cool.
Step 2: If you’re using food coloring, now is the time to add it to your coconut oil. We added a teaspoon.
The dye won’t fully mix with the oil, but I’ve found that whisking with a fork does help the color distribute more evenly. (The photo above was taken before we mixed.)
Next, add the coconut oil to the cornstarch/arrowroot powder.
Now mix everything together. We started with a fork and then finished up with our fingers.
When our moon sand was fully mixed the color was pretty light, so we added another ½ teaspoon of natural food coloring. It was still pretty light after that, but I didn’t want to use any more of our precious supplies.
Since the DIY genes run strong in my family, I started wondering if there was a way to adapt my natural Easter egg dye recipes. I’d succeeded once before with naturally colored homemade play dough, but because this is an oil-based recipe I didn’t want to include a water-based dye. I grabbed some non-gmo glycerin and a few blueberries, then tossed them in a pan to simmer over low heat.
Then I strained off the liquid and we added it to our mixture.
You guys, this project was a total win. I’m not sure how the color will hold up over time, but it did increase the intensity for now.
Though it’s not gritty like sand, it can make a mess. I rolled out some paper on the kitchen table and then dumped the sand on top. The kids loved it and cleanup was easy. Another option would be to put it in a shallow tray or have the kids play with it on a porch.
Storage: Our moon sand has been placed in a glass storage jar until it’s needed again. I’m thinking I’ll pull it out the next time the potami are waiting not-so-patiently for dinner to be ready. 🙂