On the (very short) list of kid products parents actually enjoying playing with alongside their children, play sand easily makes the top three. Like molding clay, play sand is a form of sensory play that strengthens your child’s fine motor skills through creative exploration. It’s not unlike the beach sand you bury their toes in or build castles with, but you won’t need to pour bucks of water over these tiny grains to garner that satisfyingly sticky consistency. Rather, play sand is ready to be molded, sculpted, poured and mixed right out of the package, and the best part about this crafty gem? Mess is minimal.
“Sand” and “no mess” rarely go hand in hand, but we’re serious when we tell you that this hands-on activity won’t end in sweeping or vacuuming your kitchen floor. Play sand is sand, yes, but it’s been coated with the same kinds of silicone oils you’ll find in cosmetics, haircare products and lubricants, which is what makes it mess-free. It also doesn’t stick to surfaces (translation: your table tops are safe). What play sand will do is provide your child with a creative outlet and hours of entertainment, all while strengthening their fine motor skills in the process. Here are the best play sand sets for you to add to your own toy stash.
This story was originally published in January 2020.
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
1. Kinetic Sand Beach Sand Kingdom
If you’re going to buy play sand, its namesake brand is among — if not the — most popular option. Kids will love channeling beach vibes in the comfort of their own home with this set that includes a whopping three pounds of sand to mix, scoop, pour and sculpt. The mega box also comes with six castle-themed molds to create walls, bridges, towers and the like, plus two multi-use tools to cut, dig, rake and shovel the sand. And if you’re still sweating even the possibility of a mess, chill: The packaging doubles as a confined play space. Just tease an early bedtime and rest assured they’ll keep your space nice and tidy.
2. NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Ultimate Play Sand
If your children are already familiar with and love play sand, this variation comes in batches up to twelve pounds (just in case you were looking to stock up). Available in natural, blue, green, pink, purple and multicolored, these vibrant play sets encourage your child to explore their creative side through sensory play. It also include six different molds, including a castle and pyramid, plus a storage tray to pack it all in when playtime is over.
3. CoolSand Mixable & Moldable Play Sand
Once your kids play with play sand they’ll be begging for more — more sand, and more color. The refill packs come in eight different hues: black, green, pink, purple, red, white and natural. By adding a little vibrance to their sensory play, their creativity will know no limitations. Say buh-bye to castle after castle, and hello to making masterpieces outside the molds.
There’s nothing worse than sand that won’t stretch, but this play sand for kid will let any of their creative dreams come true. Thanks to its extra stretchiness, you can expand this sand however you need it to. It comes with a reusable bucket for easy storage and won’t leave behind residue once your child done is playing. That way, you won’t have a mess to clean up after they’re done modeling.
5. Kenlaimi Sand
This play sand for kids is eco-friendly and non-toxic, so you can confidently give them this to play with. This set comes with three pounds of sand, so there’s more than enough to help bring their creations to life. It’s easy to mold and won’t ever dry out, so it will last for years and years of fun. Made with high-quality beeswax blending and natural plant pigmentation, it won’t lose its coloring either. With natural, green, and pink colors to choose from you can choose how colorful you want to get.