Moon sand is that cool sand (aka kinetic sand) that when formed holds its shape. With just a few ingredients you can make it right at home without the expense. DIY Kinetic sand is such a great sensory activity your kids will have hours of fun with it.

Keep kids busy and entertained with this long list of crafts and activities for kids. You will find some great ideas!

child playing with moon sand recipe

How we discovered DIY Moon Sand

My daughter and I went on a hunt through the toy aisles for Moon Sand this week. (Thanks to the power of those very persuasive toy commercials!) Have you seen the commercials?  Moon Sand is the cool kinetic sand that you see in all the stores.

We decided that it would be a fun activity to keep us busy this summer, and perhaps a different spin from the playdough that we love. (Here is a great homemade playdough recipe). So the hunt began.

She was so excited to find the little box of Moon Sand. I, on the other hand, was a little shocked to see the price of such a little box of Moon Sand.  It didn’t seem like very much product for the price! With a quick search on google, I skillfully steered my daughter out of the toy aisle and into the grocery section.

The beginning of an experiment

It can be expensive to buy, however, you can make your very own DIY kinetic sand right at home with just a few ingredients.

My daughter was excited to play with the moon sand and I was happy about the expense. With only three ingredients and you can mix up hours of fun for your kids. I decided that this experiment would be worth a try! 

What is Kinetic sand?

To accomplish this money-saving experiment, I had to figure out just what exactly kinetic sand is.  I learned that it is considered a three-dimensional building toy (perfect for sculpting and re-sculpting) and it is made of 98% sand and 2% polydimethylsiloxane (which is a type of silicone oil.) It mimics the physical properties of wet sand, which I know from experience, can keep a child busy for hours!

Now to experiment with some easy recipes using ingredients that I can pronounce!

Moon Sand Ingredients

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DIY kinetic sand supplies - cornstarch and play sand

What kind of sand is used to make kinetic sand?

We used play sand to make our fun sand that holds its shape. Play sand is finer than regular beach sand.

How to make Moon Sand

Step 1

Mix 9 cups of play sand with cornstarch.  I spent a little extra money on the colored sand.  It was a nice way to color the moldable sand without having to use any food coloring, food dye or powdered tempera paint. I decided adding extra ingredients could color the hands.

pink play sand first ingredient of he mixture

Mix well.

cornstarch (the second ingredient of the mixture) being added to pink play sand

Step 2

Then add in about 2-1/2 cups water. Start with 2-1/4 cups and continue adding the water until you have the desired consistency.

cup pouring water into diy moon sand mixture

Step 3

Mix well. I think that this is the fun part.  This is such great sensory play for preschoolers!  it would be a great addition to a preschool play area and it would also make a fun activity to do at a backyard birthday party.

hands mixing cornstarch, play sand and water together

While it isn’t exactly like moon sand it is very close.  This recipe makes a lot more than the small box on the toy shelf and is much cheaper.

Helpful Tips and tricks

You can experiment with the ingredients until you get it exactly how you like it.  Be careful though, it is very easy to get sandy oobleck! When finished playing, cover, and store in an airtight container.

Next time you play, add a few tablespoons of water if it needs to be moistened.  We stored it in a plastic tote, but I think that you could also store it in the gallon size plastic zip bags. However, using a  plastic tote makes for a great sensory bin.

Also, I have heard that you can add essential oils or kool-aid packets to increase the sensory fun.  This is such a simple way to increase the fun and calm the spirits. I can’t wait to try it myself.

kinetic sand shaped like a smiling octopus

It’s your Turn to Make an Play with DIY Moon Sand

My kids had a great time and the kids loved the homemade moon sand. (I found that even the real Moon Sand did not meet my kid’s expectations.) 

Now you know how to make your own kinetic sand, and I hope that you and your kids will enjoy this fun experiment. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. If you try and add any smells, I would love to hear how they worked out for you! I think you will love moon sand.

Be sure to read the comments there are some great tips for adding baby oil to give it a fresh scent and cream of tartar to help preserve and keep it from molding.

More fun sensory ACTIVITY projects

After you have whipped up the kinetic sand recipe be sure to make these fun concoctions.

I would love to keep you fully stocked with creative ideas, yummy recipes, fun crafts, and loads of free printables. Subscribe to Skip to my Lou to get new ideas delivered to your inbox. Follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram for all my latest updates.

DIY Moon Sand Recipe

moon sand
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5 from 5 votes

DIY Moon Sand Recipe


  • 9 cups play sand Really fine sand
  • 3 cups cornstarch
  • 2 1/2 cups water


  • Mix together the sand and cornstarch. Add in about 2 1/4 cups water and stir. Continue adding the water until you have the desired consistency.
  • You can experiment with the ingredient amounts until you get it exactly how you like it.

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  1. My kids love this sand but it is so expensive! Thanks for saving my budget while still allowing my kids to have this fun sensory playtime.

  2. So much cheaper than the jars of store bought moon sand I’ve purchased in the past. Thanks so much for sharing!

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